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Mavericks 94, Wizards 93


You could argue that a two-time all-star has probably earned the right to break from a play in the closing seconds, but Flip Saunders wasn't trying to hear it. Not on Wednesday night. Not after Caron Butler broke from the play that Saunders had drawn up with 6.7 seconds remaining to go one-on-one against Shawn Marion -- and have his shot blocked as time expired.

"That wasn't the play we were supposed to run," he said.

Saunders didn't bother explaining what play he had designed, but he was infuriated after the game. Butler said that he was an option on the play, but it didn't look good for the Wizards when he caught the ball from Mike Miller, lowered his head and started to dribble, taking precious time off the clock. Butler then had to rush to the basket, where Marion greeted Butler's jumper with his right hand.

After the game, Butler said that if he had to do it over again, he would've immediately taken the ball to the basket for a layup or a foul. Instead, his teammates were left to explain how Butler went his own way.

"That wasn't the play that was designed at the end of the game," Randy Foye said.

When asked to explain, Foye said, "That wasn't the play that was designed. It was an option. We ran that play against Chicago and I got the two shots with the play that was supposed to be ran."

Brendan Haywood said that he didn't want to talk about the play because he didn't want to throw a teammate under the bus. But he was noticeably upset, especially since he took a charge against Dirk Nowitzki on the Mavericks' previous possession to set up the final play.

"That was a big defensive stop," Haywood said. "It's very disappointing not to finish it out. We just didn't execute down the stretch."

Some of the Wizards may have been shocked to see Butler break from the play and take the final shot, but the Mavericks certainly weren't. Marion certainly was expecting it, since Butler had an isolation play and hit a game-winner over Marion in Toronto last April.

"I knew he was going to get it," Marion said. "We knew it was going to be Butler."

"It was a situation with limited time and Butler was the guy, so it was no surprise," Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle said.

Of course, that may have been the reason Saunders wanted to go in another direction. No matter what Butler may have accomplished in the past, Saunders wanted his players to trust the play that he had given them.

"We competed, but we just made stupid plays," he said. "At the end of the quarter we were fouling and we didn't execute down the stretch. We win games when we do those things, and we lose games when we don't."

One play that stood out last night was at the end of the third quarter when Andray Blatche, who had an otherwise solid game with eight points and four rebounds, fouled Dirk Nowitzki on an inbounds play with 1.8 seconds left, giving him two free throws to extend the lead to 70-67 entering the fourth period.

The Wizards had staged a valiant comeback in the final 70 seconds, rallying from a seven-point deficit to get within one point on back-to-back three-pointers by Foye and Mike Miller. But after the Miller said that there was nothing that the team could take away from this loss.

"We can't take anything out of this, except for a loss and that hurts," said Miller, who scored eight points in 31 minutes.

Despite the loss, Carlisle said he hadn't given up on the Wizards having a successful run the rest of the season. "I like the way that they are playing," he said. "I have seen their last three games, and the double overtime game in Chicago could have gone both ways. If they would have gotten one more score in this game or if one bounce would have gone their way then they would be looking at three wins in a row. That's how this league is. They have a good complement of guys and you can tell that they like playing together by watching the games. I personally think that they are going to hang around in the playoff race."

By Michael Lee  |  January 21, 2010; 12:10 AM ET
 
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Comments

SEE Larry I did not copy it all but Haywood said it pretty good LOL

After the game, Butler said that if he had to do it over again, he would've immediately taken the ball to the basket for a layup or a foul. Instead, his teammates were left to explain how Butler went his own way.

"That wasn't the play that was designed at the end of the game," Randy Foye said.

When asked to explain, Foye said, "That wasn't the play that was designed. It was an option. We ran that play against Chicago and I got the two shots with the play that was supposed to be ran."

Brendan Haywood said that he didn't want to talk about the play because he didn't want to throw a teammate under the bus. But he was noticeably upset

Posted by: rnorris6 | January 21, 2010 1:36 AM | Report abuse

This is the same kind of classless bickering through the media that was common in Minnesota.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 21, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

as soon as butler got the ball in his hands you could tell he wasnt giving it up. that was the stupidest thing i've ever seen him do. there was plenty of time to run a play and get an open look for someone, but he just stumbled into marion and got stuffed badly on an ugly shot attempt.

if the wizards dont learn how to play team ball (look at the team assists totals last night was-15 dal-27 pathetic) they are never going to be any good. butler does not know when to pass - he takes and misses far too many contested jumpers.

Posted by: jesc126 | January 21, 2010 3:33 AM | Report abuse

lol...this is not bickering. What are you talking about? It's about accountability. I knew that last play could not have been designed bc it was horrible. CB still thinks he is better than he is. Yeah, he is good, but not that good that he should go solo.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 21, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

I could have sworn we used to have this guy who was famous for making shots like the one we needed last night. Anyone else remember that? Something about buzzer beaters and coming through in the clutch and sending the fans home happy? What was that guy's name again...?

Posted by: bryc3 | January 21, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Something about buzzer beaters and coming through in the clutch and sending the fans home happy? What was that guy's name again...?


Posted by: bryc3 | January 21, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Inmate # 327-478

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 21, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

"You could argue that a two-time all-star has probably earned the right to break from a play in the closing seconds."

Yeah, but you would be a fool.

Brad Miller was an all-star -- can he break a play? How about Pao Gasol -- can he break a play designed to get Kobe the ball in the last seconds? What about Stephon Marbury last season with the Celtics?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 21, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

jesc126, I've seen CB do that same thing over and over yet no one seems to want to say anything. Guarantee if it was Gil, some guys would be naming names and talking about how its a team game and no time for 'heroes'.

As much as bulletsfan78 jokes about it, the truth is that we need a closer. Boykins pretended for a while (and got fellated on this blog) but Gil is the ONLY guy on this team (i know, i know) that I want with the ball in his hands at the end of a game with the score close.
Foye is the other but he'd be a distant second option.

I walked towards the exit last night knowing that we were going to lose.

Posted by: original_mark | January 21, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Another observation or three:

Foye scored 26 and had only 3 assists. He was great but is that the way this offense is supposed to work? Gil wouldve been lambasted if he'd done the same thing. It's not like he was playing great defense either. Kidd just can't shoot.

DS should get NO time. He tried to play defense but just take a look at the plus/minus stats. He's at -12. I know MM isnt ready for full time minutes but NY is better than DS even at his worst. It reminds me of the Songaila/McGee situation from last year at C.

BTH haters have been silent for a while now. How many games will it take for them to realize that he's probably our most valuable player and asset. If AJ was younger it would be him but if we had to pick one guy that we cant afford to lose right now, BTH is that guy.

Posted by: original_mark | January 21, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Nice to know that play by Caron wasn't drawn up because it was awful. There was no reason the Wiz should have lost that game and the ball should have been in Miller's hand I think. What do you do with a player who doesn't do what the coach says? Caron wanted to be the hero and look what happened. You just can't be going all rogue and trying to do you. Sorry to say it, but, I watched and Caron blew this one. This could have and should have been a W. I don't blame Haywood for being upset but appreciate that he didn't let the media know how he really felt. Way to go Haywood. He and Miller gave us a fighting chance.

Posted by: ivyleague | January 21, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

You are wrong on this one Larry Coaching had nothing to do with the loss it was Butler being a me first player not doing the play because it was run for another player and Saunders and a few other players were mad at him all you had to do was listen to the post game conference by saunders and the locker room interviews of the players because i did watch them

Posted by: rnorris6 | January 21, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you on this one.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 21, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Ah-h-h, accountability begins to finally raise its head in the WIZARDS organization.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 21, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Searching hard for a positive note - After the game, the Dallas Mavericks acted as if they had just won a big game. I know it is always exciting to win a close game, but apparently they were worried about losing to the Wizards. Maybe the respect their coach gave after the game was genuine.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | January 21, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Inmate # 327-478

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 21, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Bingo. Zinger. LOL.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 21, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Could be the players just wanted pay-back for earlier in the season, and the coach DOES has some respect for FS. Who knows?

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 21, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

But from FOYE's comments last night, I'd say he WAS the option on the last play, not BUTLER. Hell, every player on the court is an option when you're behind with two ticks on the clock at the end of the game. Why waste time getting to that point. Nobody wants to see that lowering of the head, that dribbling madness, that BUTLER engages in before he tries a shot. It's a dead give-away on what's coming next. And MARION could give him that shot all night, as long as he stops the one that REALLY counts. B-Ball smarts is not being evidenced by our veterans. I think the ARENAS stamp is still pervading this team.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 21, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

The 'Arenas stamp' at the end of a game is getting off a good shot and, more often than not, hitting it.
That's what I saw over the course of his career.

I don't mind if a guy does the 'hero' thing as long as he has a legit chance at hitting it. The problem is CB. He has no moves other than the 'dribble, hesitation, stutter-step, pull up' move. Even DS has more moves. ANYBODY on the court but CB should have taken that shot.

Posted by: original_mark | January 21, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

.....But preferably Foye or Miller.

Posted by: original_mark | January 21, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Let clarify...

Most teams allow their best player to shoot the last shot. The reason is that they are more likely to hit it OR get the star treatment from the refs on a foul call. Gil used to get that.

Even without the benefit of those calls, he's still the best last second option because he drives and shoots jumpers effectively. Until he gets back (?) Foye is the only dude I trust that can do both effectively. If NY would get consistent minutes and more confidence, he'd also be a good option.

CB? AJ? Nope.They rely on others to set them up.

Posted by: original_mark | January 21, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Exactly...people are always talking about coaching and what goes on when the majority of the time WE DON'T KNOW.

If nobody came out and said Butler broke the play...then it would've even been more of "Flip is a terrible coach" and "Why did he draw that up?"

Whichever side you're on about Gil...too much credit AND too much blame gets placed on him.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 21, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh here we go again dang just missed a win, really? What you saw last night was what you will continue to see as long as there's no change made within the roster or GM or Coach. Lets face the facts here that obliviously the Mavs were not so concern about this team that for 3 and half quarters of the game they played as if what me worry about this team and then they start to play like ok its time to win the game. One thing that's noticable and that is that Flip is not a teacher or knows how to instruct younger player and the older vets just tunes him out, alas butler.

Posted by: getagripped | January 21, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

As bad as the Wiz played at times last night I was suprised the game was still close at the end. I think they are gradually playing better, especially when they listen to the very good coach they now have.

This is why I would rather build a team around Saunders rather than the other way around, as I have posted before.

Posted by: cannontl | January 21, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Exactly...people are always talking about coaching and what goes on when the majority of the time WE DON'T KNOW.

If nobody came out and said Butler broke the play...then it would've even been more of "Flip is a terrible coach" and "Why did he draw that up?"

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 21, 2010 8:43 AM

Good point.

Posted by: cannontl | January 21, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Am glad Flip spoke out about CB breaking off the play. Who knows how long he's been doing stupid stuff like that?

BTW, who says Haywood didn't let the media know how he felt? How do you think he feels when he says "I won't talk because I don't want to throw anyone under the bus"? Of cos, he's pissed. And he should be. He's one of the few wizards who take some pride in playing defense. And to see CB waste it on a selfish play like that has to be frustrating.

Posted by: tundey | January 21, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Whichever side you're on about Gil...too much credit AND too much blame gets placed on him.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 21, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse


...along with too much money.

Posted by: p1funk | January 21, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

lol..nobody said CB has never hit a buzzer beater. That does not make last night's shot a good one. One on one with people all around him against the best defender on the other team. Bad idea! And, it's fairly obvious he is a little beyond his All-Star days. CB for Devin Harris I would do in two seconds!

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 21, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

...along with too much money.

Posted by: p1funk | January 21, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse


That he earned.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 21, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

That he earned.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 21, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse


Yeah, let's take a poll and see how many people think GA has "earned" his paycheck over the last year and half.

Posted by: p1funk | January 21, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, let's take a poll and see how many people think GA has "earned" his paycheck over the last year and half.

Posted by: p1funk | January 21, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

He's been here for 6. He got hurt. It happens. Get over the money. It was the smart thing to do. Whether you like it or not. At YOUR job if you're given an option to extend your contract for more money you're going to take it.

He just played out his original contract and I think he earned every penny.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 21, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

He just played out his original contract and I think he earned every penny.

Me,too. Nobody but 88 was complaining when he was hitting game winners at a Kobe-like rate a few years ago when he was healthy. What's up with the revisionist history?

Posted by: original_mark | January 21, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

couple of thoughts...

Caron should be benched for a game, or maybe calling him out publicly was sufficient. CB is a guy who has too much confidence in his abilities. Sometimes it works to his advantage, but he makes a lot of mistakes as a result.

Mike Miller has to, HAS TO, take more shots.

The critical play last night (I think the Wiz were down one)was when Miller drove the middle and missed a layup and then Haywood, as he is prone to do, fumbled away the tip-dunk.

For whatever reason, bad match-up or bad nigh, AJ was a real detriment. Saunders should have recognized this and given Blatche more minutes in the 4th. I can understand Saunder's loyalty towards AJ, but he kept forcing bead shots even though he was cold and he had so many turnovers.

Not only was the execution terrible on the last play of the game, but Earl Boykins was terrible at the end of every quarter. If he would pick his head up, he'd see that there were at least two guys set up for open Js.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | January 21, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

tundey, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I'm glad somebody let us know what the deal was on that play.

Personally, I think only AJ and BTH have earned the right to say anything about anyone on this team. And I would hope that AJ only talks about professionalism, not effort. He doesnt play very good defense. BTH is the only man on this team that plays D AND does what he's asked on offense without complaining. Boykins also, now that I think of it.

Posted by: original_mark | January 21, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Me,too. Nobody but 88 was complaining when he was hitting game winners at a Kobe-like rate a few years ago when he was healthy. What's up with the revisionist history?

I know. If my memory serves me correctly p1funk compared Gil to J.R. Smith...how quickly they forget...but that's life.

Mike Miller has to, HAS TO, take more shots.

I agree. I remeber that missed tip...I also remember Mike passing up a layup to feed Brendan who did a weird to step leaning sideways fadeway or some nonsense.

I was like this is either going to be ugly...or ugly and randomly go in.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 21, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Me,too. Nobody but 88 was complaining when he was hitting game winners at a Kobe-like rate a few years ago when he was healthy. What's up with the revisionist history?

Posted by: original_mark | January 21, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

There may be alot of revisionists up here, but I wasn't one of them.

I said they should let GA walk.

Posted by: p1funk | January 21, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

He's been here for 6. He got hurt. It happens. Get over the money. It was the smart thing to do. Whether you like it or not. At YOUR job if you're given an option to extend your contract for more money you're going to take it.

He just played out his original contract and I think he earned every penny.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 21, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse


Really? It was the smart thing to do? Maybe in the fantasy-land that you and Ernie live in.

I think reality has rendered judgment as to whether it was actually the "smart" thing to do.

He played out his original contract and earned that money. Fine.

He's not earning the money on his present contract. That's my point.

Posted by: p1funk | January 21, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

In my opinion Caron Bulter has more often than not been a black hole on offense this year. When he drives to the hole, gets a put back or takes a quick jumper off a screen he often does well. But when he does his isolation one-on-one stuff, it just ain't falling this year and I think it's killing us and often the flow of the offense.

He reminds me Juwan Howard a little bit in that when C Webb went down and J Howard became the focal point of the offense he played great initially (hence the massive contract). But after a while it became apparent that J Howard is a role player and he was literally playing above his skills during that one stretch.

Same with Caron. When Gil went down a couple years ago, Caron really stepped up and appeared to be the leader of the team. But ultimately, I think he is a role player and that is really showing this year.

On one level he seems to believe he is better than he is because he is not hitting a lot of the isolation shots or jumpers. But then again, perhaps he is trying to will himself to step up his game back to where it was that one year, which isn't happening so far.

Regardless, I would have loved to see Caron drive on that final play and then kick it to Mike Miller who then drains the jumper and the Wiz go home winners!

Caron is hurting us this year more often than not on offense IMO. I would rather have Blatche or NY go one-on-one at the end than Caron these days.

Posted by: rock77music | January 21, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Caron is hurting us this year more often than not on offense IMO. I would rather have Blatche or NY go one-on-one at the end than Caron these days.

Posted by: rock77music | January 21, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse


I think Caron, like virtually everyone on this team, has suffered from a lack of real coaching.

Caron's got talent and game and that came out years ago, but it's not like he was at all a finished product.

His game has regressed. Maybe he's not all the talent that we thought he was? But when you look at this team/organization over the past 2-3 years it's not like he (or any of the other younger guys on the team) have had a chance to develop their game.

Posted by: p1funk | January 21, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

BTH haters have been silent for a while now. How many games will it take for them to realize that he's probably our most valuable player and asset. If AJ was younger it would be him but if we had to pick one guy that we cant afford to lose right now, BTH is that guy.

Posted by: original_mark

Agreed....Bredan is one of most important players even if there is a blow in the roster, we must keep him. Simply we might have to overpay him to keep him, maybe at 4 years 8 million per. Foye probally would like to stay I would resign him to he should not cost that much just pick-up his option. Mike Miller would be a nice pieace to keep, McGee is a must. Boykins is a soild 3rd point guard off the bench to have. Mcguire would not be bad either and 50/50 on Nick Young. I would also not just give Antawn Jam. away.Stevenson doesnt matter for another year.

But Gil, Mike James, Blatche, Oberto, Crittenton and Carron (who want to leave) I would try to let go.

Posted by: dsquare | January 21, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I have no problem for CB to take the final shoot but this time he did not do it the right way, he accepted the mistake.I do not agree with drowing play in 6 seconds.any attempt to pass has a chance to be intersepted and could be coasty.Who ever was told to take the shoot should have the ball in hand but no one was open for miller except butler.The game was decided when AJ misshandled the ball 4 times in the 4th quarter, 6 of the 16 turnovers are from AJ.CB closed multiple games for this team.I will forgive him for this one.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 21, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Really? It was the smart thing to do? Maybe in the fantasy-land that you and Ernie live in.

I think reality has rendered judgment as to whether it was actually the "smart" thing to do.

Gil wasn't smart to opt out and extend his contract to make more money? If he didn't opt out he would have been a free agent this season after not playing for two years.

Sounds like a 1 year mi-level exception deal to me...IN MEMPHIS.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 21, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"I don't mind if a guy does the 'hero' thing as long as he has a legit chance at hitting it. The problem is CB. He has no moves other than the 'dribble, hesitation, stutter-step, pull up' move. Even DS has more moves. ANYBODY on the court but CB should have taken that shot." - original_mark

I'm not sure DS has mroe moves, but otherwise I agree. Butler, for all his positives, has never been a good one-on-one player. AS a straight up jump shooter not coming of a screen, he's even worse. I've been saying this for a few years that he was fool's gold. Maybe now people are starting to see it.


"I think Caron, like virtually everyone on this team, has suffered from a lack of real coaching.

Caron's got talent and game and that came out years ago, but it's not like he was at all a finished product.

His game has regressed. Maybe he's not all the talent that we thought he was? But when you look at this team/organization over the past 2-3 years it's not like he (or any of the other younger guys on the team) have had a chance to develop their game." - p1funk

Not going to argue about coaching over the last few years, though I think Saunders is a great coach. I honestly don't think Butler's game has regressed, other than one part of it. Over the last few years, his not-so-great shots would fall, or he'd get bailed out of his not-so-great drives by the refs. This year neither is happening.

His best talent is getting the ball on the wing and either taking an immediate shot, ro taking an immediate drive, usually baseline. He's fast and powerful in his drives, but his first step is lacking. Anytime he holds the ball then tries to make a move, he's pretty much already failed. He does have the ability to make good passes of those drives, but that only happens if he doesn't lose the ball first as he does not have a good handle.

Butler makes an average second-option on a team and a great third option. Anyone who expects more from him in his career is dreaming. He also turning 30 in 2 months. So really, those two all-star years (one of which I think should've gone to AJ over him) were his peak.

Posted by: segastyle | January 21, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

This is more of a coaching issue than it appears.

Caron used to play for the Lakers, yes?

He would have NEVER gone against a play Phil called in the final 10 seconds.

But with Flip coaching...wtf, I am going to the hole.

Posted by: keithrjackson | January 21, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

SEGA!!!!!!!!!!!! good stuff. i think CB has definitely lost all of his explosion in his first step and his shooting touch isn't as good as it has been. The real tragedy is that Flip can't reign him in and get him to calm down all the ono on one stutter stepping and head faking. The ball almost alway "sticks" when it's passed to him (and AJ for that matter). It's time for him to go cane we get Tmac for caron and MJ?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 21, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

This is more of a coaching issue than it appears.

Caron used to play for the Lakers, yes?

He would have NEVER gone against a play Phil called in the final 10 seconds.

But with Flip coaching...wtf, I am going to the hole.

Posted by: keithrjackson | January 21, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

right cb was coached by Calhoun, Riley (or was it fat van fatty) and jackson all hall of fame coaches. He meshed well with EJ and was really still in his prime while he was here and he thrived in his system. I think Flip got with AJ,Cb,Gil,MM and told them they were "his guys" CB has not been called out,benched, or even challenged, for his poor play. In fact, i remember NY (who was playing very well at the time in the starting role) getting benched to "put more pressure on the big 3", which really means get CB and AJ more shots (gil was gettin his shots). CB must go, i don't know why but the guy who used to represent toughness and hard work on the wiz is really irking me this season.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 21, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"But with Flip coaching...wtf, I am going to the hole."

Actually, if Caron had actually gone to the hole we probably wouldn't be having this conversation...

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Caron must go"

LOL. If it weren't for Caron they would've lost by 25 last night. Please. Caron has been playing much better the past 5 games and is finding his way in the new offense.

He had a double-double last night and just should've ran the play coach called and if not gone straight to the basket to either make a layup or get fouled.

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

So lemme get this straight. If Caron had to do it all over, he woulda broken away from the play AGAIN? By pulling up or driving immediately? Is someone missing the point here?

He really hasn't been playing to his capabilities this year. He looks lost, like he doesn't know how to create for himself. He doesn't distribute the basketball like he has in the past, as evidenced by his dropoff in APG. He's struggling in some areas, leading to overcompensation in others.

I hate to say it because I love Caron's game & his heart, but this season he's been just as much a headache on the court as Gilbert was off it. Maybe he's just not meshing with Flip, and a trade is needed. I just hope they don't get lowballed and accept a horrible trade-like the rumors about him going to Chicago for Hinrich straight up.

Posted by: KellRawLive | January 21, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Caron is still a good second or third option. Unfortunately the Wizards are back to having no first option. There's no Arenas to take that shot to win the game. Someone has to step up, but there really isn't anyone on the team who has the talent to do so. Jamison, Foye, Miller and Butler are all wonderful complimentary players but for the team to win the close games they need a guy who will put the ball in the hole in clutch situations. That's why Arenas got the big dollars. He had that talent. Too bad he wasted it and it's too bad Wizards fans have to suffer for his stupidity.

Posted by: jon_quest | January 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | January 21, 2010 9:40 AM
"CB is a guy who has too much confidence in his abilities. Sometimes it works to his advantage, but he makes a lot of mistakes as a result."

"...Not only was the execution terrible on the last play of the game, but Earl Boykins was terrible at the end of every quarter."

============

I agree on both counts. I've been saying it for some time now that Caron Butler is the monster that Eddie Jordan created. Nothing personally, but his swag writes checks that his game cannot cash. He is a good sidekick player but is not to be confused with an All-Star caliber clutch player.

To echo another's sentiment, the bloom has surely fallen off the rose with Earl Boykins. He irritates me more than any other player on this team. To quote Clint Eastwood: "A man's got to know his limitations". Earl seems to think he is the "go-to" man on this team when he is on the floor... and the way he pounds the ball into the floor for 15-18 seconds... GRRRR!!!

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | January 21, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

On a more positive note, the team has been playing much better over the last few games. I noted during the game how Caron seemed to be forcing things less and "letting the game come to him". The last play was a costly aberration to his game last night. If he continues to play as he did last night for the most part, the team should fare much better.

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | January 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I just saw a picture of the arena last night...EMPTY.

It's almost sad.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 21, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

He had a double-double last night and just should've ran the play coach called and if not gone straight to the basket to either make a layup or get fouled.

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

he also shot a shade above 33% last night, and called his own number rather than the play the coach had drawn up, just so we could see a one pass, one on one, let me show everyone i don't have it anymore shot block to lose the game.

BTW Caron's been awesome this year.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 21, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

you can saw we lost because of Butler, but the real reason we lost was Saunders putting in Jamison for Blatche with about 6:40 when we had finally gone up by 1 (80-79).

Blatche was playing amazing defense, blocking shots, diving to the ground, rebounding the ball well, and doing a good job defending Dirk. Jamison comes in, Dirk hits a shot, Dampier goes over his back for a rebound tip that is subsequently put in by another Mav, two turnovers by Jamison and a missed shot. Jamison has been playing amazing ball lately, but at that point in the game Blatche was outplaying him, so why take him out?

Saunders can talk all he wants about defense, but when his coaching changes don't reflect that it doesn't make sense.

Posted by: tedunni1 | January 21, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Gil is the ONLY guy on this team (i know, i know) that I want with the ball in his hands at the end of a game with the score close."

original_mark, I usually agree with you but not this time. How many games did Gilbert close out this year? When he had two good knees he could close. On one good knee he can't. Doesn't mean they were wrong to give him the big contract, but he ain't got the good any more.

Posted by: steveh46 | January 21, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

steveh46, You're right in that Gil wasnt money this year. On quite a few occasions he would drive, get fouled and miss the shot while looking for a call.
BUT...
His numbers were improving as the season went on and it was probably only a matter of time b4 the refs started giving him some of those calls again.

If he wasnt so freaking stupid, he might be at that point now.

Posted by: original_mark | January 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Completely agree with the need to have left Blatche in during the 4th quarter. Nobody stops Dirk, but Blatche provided the most amount of resistance, which seemed to have an effect. Jamison has been playing great as of late, but was getting abused last night.

Flip's decision-making couldn't be more predetermined or inflexible. The idea of adjusting the rotation in response to evolving match-ups within the course of game doesn't even seem to be a consideration. There was absolutely nothing that was going to stop him from putting Jamison back in the game for Blatche at the 6 min. mark.

Posted by: alvin4 | January 21, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Butler is not a closer. He is slow, short, can't elevate and takes too many jump shots. Not a good decision at the time.

Posted by: bdunkadunk | January 21, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

What did I miss? Haywood didn't stop Dirk on the last offensive play by the Mavericks?

Leave Blatche in?? GTF. Haywood had a monster game last night. All Dray would've done is slap at the ball. He would've never drawn that offensive foul.

And I would take AJ 100 times out of 100 over Blatche in ANY situation.

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY is anybody still talking about Arenas????? Who cares and if you do Y do you care?

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"His numbers were improving as the season went on and it was probably only a matter of time b4 the refs started giving him some of those calls again."

He got the calls. Remember the Celtics game in December? Followed by the Pacers game? He got the calls and blew 4 foul shots in the closing seconds of games the Wiz could have won. He couldn't get it done.

Posted by: steveh46 | January 21, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Lookin' sexy in the video, Mr. Lee!

Are you on GQ's top 25 dressers?

Posted by: Max_in_Missouri | January 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY is anybody still talking about Arenas????? Who cares and if you do Y do you care?

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse
Maybe you'll trade the consecutive playoff trips, all star nods and game winners for a chance to lube up Haywoods shmeat, but it's a lil more difficult for some of us to forget the best basketball player that the wiz have had since..........i dunno old Mike, before that who?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 21, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

What did I miss? Haywood didn't stop Dirk on the last offensive play by the Mavericks?

Leave Blatche in?? GTF. Haywood had a monster game last night. All Dray would've done is slap at the ball. He would've never drawn that offensive foul.

And I would take AJ 100 times out of 100 over Blatche in ANY situation.

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

You obviously need to watch more than just the highlights. Blatche and Haywood were on the floor at that same time (towards the end) with Blatche playing PF. On that last play the Wiz actually played Miller on Dirk instead of Jamison, and when he drove around Miller Haywood stepped in for the block.

yes, overall Jamison is more consistent than Blatche, but if you had actually watched the game last night, you would have seen Blatche was the better option.

Posted by: tedunni1 | January 21, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

i've never been terribly impressed with 7 footers taking charges anyway. but i can't hate on 18 boards, imagine if we had blair coming off the bench.BTW not drafting him in the second round might be the worst move since the kwame pick, Heavy D looks like a player.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 21, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

tedunni1,

I did watch the game as I do every Wiz game. And I don't give a F what you say.. Blatche is never a better option than Jamison. Not NEVER.

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

@tedunni1,

You need to watch the game because Blatche did not play the final 6 minutes 30 seconds of the 4th. What are you even talking about he played with Haywood near the end of the game??

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

lilhollywood10 ,

Worst than drafting Kwame is the contract they awarded the clown that is a weight on this franchise. His whole mentality and influence is partly why Blatche and Nick Young are clueless.

Yes he is the best individual basketball player we have probably ever had, but thats all he is. He doesn't make the players around him better nor hold them accountable. He was a detriment to himself as well as the team, but fun to watch score 60 pts.

So my point is he's now got a case and possibly will be spending some time in jail (though I hope not). He's no longer with the team so why keep talking about him and what he would've done or could've added. Do you not notice the team is playing much better on both ends of the floor??

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kevenjones | January 21, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

yeah they look much better, keep telling yourself that. But i really have an issue with this whole "mentality and influence" are you getting any help pulling that from your a$$ or can you handle that big crock all by yourself?
Gil was almost always the first to the arena and the last to leave. He would work out on off days,after practice,after games, 2 am the day of games, you name it. Gil Arenas has had the best work ethic i have seen from any wizard since i started following the team. I get that info from local newspaper and sports report so it could be slanted, but i would go out on a limb to say most people would refer to him as a gym rat. I doubt you've ever refered to AB or Ny as such,nor have you heard of them referred to as such. Don't blame those guys on Gil. They haven't been coached very well. Both of these guys (NY and AB) have played for avg to below avg coaches before flip.gil got to his status as a premier player in the league through hard work and determination. the lack of those two ingredients is why you feel the need to rail on AB and NY.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 21, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

A comment above on Caron Butler was very accurate. Many of us who like Caron have seen a decline in his basic skill set. He appears slower and has very little lift on his jump shot campared to previous seasons. Caron never was a great leaper but would show explosiveness in key situations that we rarely see now. Caron has virtually stopped using the "step Back" move he used to use regularly to create space when he was teriffic in the mid range game. This year he has gone almost exclusively to a head and ball fake that simply does not work and defenders all know it is coming. In addition, Caron pump fakes as a matter of habit know even when he has a very open look allowing the Defender to get up tight on him.

Now lacking much lift on his jumper, he is contested on almost every shot. To make matters worse, CB rarley finishes when going to the rim and often draws the offensive foul with a charge. In previous seasons, CB would finish with good body control and really fired the team and fans up. Now when CB goes into his stay in one place ball handling drill while the Defender sizes him up, he often cannot even get a shot off or even worse gets caught in the air while making a desperation pass that leads to turnovers.

Caron's drives to the basket make me cringe now.

What the hell happened? He is not old. Accumulation of injuries? Poor coaching in that no one has seen that his game has changed dramatically from previous years as clearly evidenced by the unnecessary head fakes? Do you think anyone has sat CB down and told him that the bad habits he has developed are killing his game and the teams chances in close games? CB is one bright, intelligent Man, tough and a true warrior who is vital to this team should he not be traded. Unless his game has declined for physical reasons out of his control, how about a Coach or Teammate talk to CB and tell him that his once very effective game has been altered and not for the best.

My Son and I think CB is a class act with once great skills but we wonder what has changed so rapidly.

What are your thoughts about this CB fans?

Posted by: jshavatt | January 21, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

CB is a class act.
AJ is a class act.
19 wins from the class acts last year.

Everyone likes an that class act guy until you've lost 63 games and have nary a draft pick to show for it. We need some athletes.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 21, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree, we do need athletes but my question was about NOW and IF CB remains here, what happened to this guy? He was not a superstar and not even a consistent all star but to decline this rapidly and acquire so many bad habits from a Player who was consistenty good leads to questions. CB is one of MANY questions about this current Roster. Overall, I think the Talent here has been completely over inflated and based mostly on potential with Guys like Blatch and Young among others.

I get the reference to AJ and CB as class acts. If you can't play, win or produce but are nice guys, you gotta go. My point is that many of us liked his game a short time ago and all of a sudden he looks old and a shell of himself. Curiousity and something to talk about but beyond that, I want Ballers who can play here too. If not CB and AJ and some of the scrubs like Oberto and under achievers and downright dumb Players with some physical talent like Blatch and Young-Find a new GM , start scouting the Euorpean Players and improve scouting here and find some guys who can play and win!

Posted by: jshavatt | January 21, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

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