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Home stand ends with a thud

With the way the Wizards have been playing at home lately, they may be glad to get away from Verizon Center.

Tuesday night's 115-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers was Washington's fourth consecutive defeat in a season-long home stand that ended 2-4, culminating a run of games in which there was careless, uninspired play throughout the roster.

"I think we're going to take away from this home stand that we just have to play better as a team," said center Brendan Haywood, who had 11 points and eight rebounds against the Lakers. "I think we're 2-4, and we wanted to go maybe 4-2 or 5-1, something like that. But it didn't' happen. It's done. Now we know we just have to play better, learn from the things we did well and try to correct the things we didn't do well."

That's a long list, and who knows where to begin?

No one will fault the Wizards for losing to Los Angeles' main NBA attraction. The Wizards
in fact played the Lakers to a virtual draw, except for the second quarter. That's when they were outscored 30-15.

"We knew what we had, what we were in store for tonight," said Antawn Jamison, who had a game-high 27 points on 11-for-22 shooting along with nine rebounds. "But the thing about it, you've got to bring that same kind of energy, that same type of aggressiveness every night. And for some reason, as a team, we can't even find a way to do it.

But a 92-78 drubbing by the Clippers on Sunday was a lowlight in a season filled with unremarkable performances. Washington scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and shot 39.5 percent for the game. The Wizards also were just 9 of 17 from the foul line (53 percent) and committed 18 turnovers.

On game earlier, the Heat, coming off a 39-point loss to Charlotte, embarrassed the Wizards, 112-88. Dwyane Wade had a game-high 32 points on 12-for-19 shooting and added 10 assists. Miami shot 57 percent, including 13 of 22 from three-point range, and handily won the rebound battle, 46-35.

Those three games came on the heels of a draining 94-93 loss to Dallas on Jan. 20. The Wizards had a chance to win with the final shot, but Caron Butler's jumper was blocked with 1.9 seconds to play.

"It's frustrating because you show signs of being able to compete and bringing it, but you can't do it just against the great teams in the league," Jamison said.

Little did the Wizards know how poorly their home stand would end after two straight wins to begin it. First Washington beat Sacramento, 96-86, followed by a 97-92 victory over Portland in which the Wizards shot 52 percent.

So what's next?

"We just gotta play," Randy Foye said. "Just got to go out there and play with a purpose and let everything fall into place."

By Gene Wang  |  January 26, 2010; 10:33 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Live game chat: Wizards vs. Lakers
Next: Wizards' morning brew: another loss at 'home'


Things won't fall into place until Flip gets a clue about playing time.

Why would Jamison play 45 minutes in a game whose outcome was never in doubt after halftime?

Early Boykins played 21 mediocre minutes with a bad heel and got abused by Brown and Farmar. Wouldn't NY be a better option?

DeShawn Stevenson hasn't scored in double figures since Halloween. If this team is offensively limited without Arenas then why is he playing... at all?

Posted by: elfreako | January 26, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

So what's next?

By Gene Wang | January 26, 2010; 10:33 PM ET

The lottery

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 27, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Here's my fantasy:

1. Draft John Wall or another top 3 draft pick.

2. Gilbert Sits on the bench for 2 years until he accepts a BS buyout number.

3. In the meantime we are so awful we rack up more high draft picks and top prospects.

4. Fire Ernie right now because a team of mentally soft jump shooters isn't the way to win.

I will tune in again in 3 years and see how things are going...

Posted by: MeviousMan | January 27, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Yes, fire EG, sell AJ,CB now.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 27, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Two words.....

Stub Hub

Posted by: original_mark | January 27, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

At some point I'm gonna start to think that Flip is a huge part of the problem. What's with the infatuation with DS?
Every time I look at his +/-, it's ridiculous. We seem to play a lot worse when he's on the court.

Four on five doesn't work, Flip.

Posted by: original_mark | January 27, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Did JaVale McGee and Nick Young bring guns into the locker room? Maybe Nick and JaVale were caught laughing during Gil's gun pantomine before the Sixers game. Did TSA catch them with contraband on a flight to Detroit? Something's up, cause they don't get ANY playing time.

Watching Jamison and Blatche getting schooled by Odom and Artest was not "must-see TV." The Wizards had no answer for Pau Gasol. So why not let JaVale put a body on Bynum and slow Gasol's roll to the basket?

The Wizards only hope of winning against the Lakers was to outscore them. You can't be serious about scoring with Nick Young on the bench. Is Nick Young injured?

Posted by: musicmanjr | January 27, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Instead of a lot of phony, pathetic press releases commenting on the cases involving Javaris and Gilbert, I'd love to see the Wizards issue an apology for the team quitting on the fans and the city.

Posted by: bryc3 | January 27, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to see the Wizards issue an apology for the team quitting on the fans and the city.

Posted by: bryc3 | January 27, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards quit on the fans after their last championship (1978)the only problem is some fans refuse to accept it.

I think the organization has been pumping in subliminal messages during the game to keep fans coming back.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 27, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"So why not let JaVale put a body on Bynum and slow Gasol's roll to the basket? "

McGee has had zero luck defending big strong post men like Bynum, and his propensity for biting on fakes and not moving his feet on defense would have been a standing invitation to the FT line for Gasol, which would have been okay to live with if he offered a modicum of something at the other end to compensate, but he doesn't.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"The Wizards only hope of winning against the Lakers was to outscore them. "

Which is exactly why Jamison and Blatche got PT and McGee didn't.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Is there a big man camp for McGee to attend?

Posted by: thecomedian1 | January 27, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Amen to kalo_rama. People who think the answer is running out there players who aren't rookies but still don't have a clue, because by fumbling around out there those players will somehow get one, are fooling themselves. (Talk about giving up.) There are reasons Blatche and McGee and Young were not top draft picks and have no particular trade value.

Not that finding an answer to the Wizard's woes is easy. I just don't think playing these guys a lot of minutes is any sort of one.

Posted by: BPupp | January 27, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

This is exactly like last year. Most of the people, including me, who post here recognize this team is never going to win consistently and it needs to rebuild--and that requires giving Young, McGee, and McGuire regular minutes over the course of the season. They either get better and stay, or we give up on them and move on. It's being stuck in this rut of not winning but not developing (or dumping) our younger players which is just maddening. In the meantime, our 33 year old power forward is racking up 40-plus minutes in games that are over by the third quarter. We need to make up our minds about what we're doing and for the front office to communicate that to the fans.

Posted by: jweber1 | January 27, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Those folks pining away for McGee & Young over AJ must not have forked over money to see an NBA game.

Our 33 year old power forward plays at an NBA level with a lot heart. Anything less is not deserving of the price of admission. To suggest that he sit so that guys with inferior talent and/or heart can develop is disrespectful to those of us that paid to see NBA level Bbal.

Nick Young has shown flashes of pro-level ball, but not consistently. McGee is still a novelty. McGuire - god bless his heart and hustle - doesn't have the touch of an NBA player.

AJ and Mike Miller are about the only players who show enough talent and heart to contribute on a quality team. If there isn't a reason already to get a rebate on our ticket purchases, sitting AJ & MM would be the last straw.

Posted by: cballer | January 27, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

how anybody can take all this seriously... its beyond comprehension. as the world turns soap was never even close to this. let's see, guns and lots of them, one missing gun (or did i miss an episode), lies, promises, threats, pleas, s++t in da shoes, gambling, lawyer-speak, DA's, Feds, Police, news scoop's, insults, bullets, locker rooms, more news scoops, more pleas and i just cant wait 'till tomorrow!!!

Posted by: horace1 | January 27, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

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