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Morning brew: Wizards cure what ails Pistons, and Arenas (of course)

A team from Washington loses to a team from Detroit that had a long losing streak. Where have we seen this story before?

Anyway, the Wizards fell to the Pistons, 99-90, on Tuesday at Verizon Center, snapping Detroit's 13-game losing streak. Off the court, NBA Players Association chief Billy Hunter was in town and said he will meet with Gilbert Arenas on Wednesday. Additionally, three more players met with law enforcement officials.

Elsewhere, Dan Steinberg asks if the Wizards are being hypocritical on guns. He also links to video of Alex Ovechkin in which he expresses his support of Arenas.

As usual, game highlights courtesy of NBA.com after the jump:

Around the League ...

There were five games Tuesday night. The Lakers lost to the Spurs, 105-85; Stephen Jackson scored 43 leading the Bobcats over the Rocketws; and the Grizzlies overcame a brief third-quarter evacuation of FedExForum to defeat the Clippers.
NBA.com's Daily Zap gets you caught up:

By Ed Guzman  |  January 13, 2010; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  | Tags: Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards; NBA; Gilbert Arenas; Antawn Jamison; Flip Saunders  
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Next: Players union head Billy Hunter discusses Arenas situation

Comments

Butler and Jamison will be on different teams next month and Arenas' contract will be off the books in 2011. Give Ernie a chance to work his magic. Patience.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | January 13, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"@divi3,

Brendan's 10 & 10. What are you talking about?"

What I'm talking about:

There is exactly ONE center in the entire league averaging 10pts or less (BTH is at 9.5) while playing 30+ minutes, and that's Haywood.

BTH is the 2nd worst C in the entire nba from an offensive perspective, with the worst being Ben Wallace.

Last night was very typical in that he pulled down an impressive 15 boards- but a measly 2 in the 4th quarter. To go along with a layup when the game was already over.

No reason I can see the team should allocate much resource to re-signing him

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Call me crazy but I think Georgetown could beat the Wizards most nights of the week. Well, maybe not... But at least they play with heart.

Posted by: MeviousMan | January 13, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"Once again EARL BOYKINS MESSES UP THE FLOW IS -14"

Foye picked up 2 quick fouls in the 2nd, Boykins had to come, and the game was over.

Earl, Debrick, CB, AJ, and BTH may be the worst unit assembled in the nba this season.

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I am going to agree with some people about this coach.I think he is a joke.So far he failed to provide an identity to this team.He is talking about defense every single quarter but he put Eb in the field.How can he expect the dismal defensive team will play defense 4 against 5 players.There was no single plan to defend 3 point and pick and roll last night.I do not think the team need a coach just to go out and participate as one of the 30 NBA teams.What surprized me is the 13,000 people in the arenas. There is noting to wach.Do the majority of the fan have a clue about basketball? tell them to go to restorants than VC.My brother called me last night at the second quarter from VC.He had a free ticket with dinner to be in VC.how many of the 13,000 have free tickets?
can any body tell CB to read a book about offensive foul.He is hurting his value.BH is working to maximize his value but he has a day off last night.Where is MJ, i think he is much better than EB to run the offense even DS can run the offense much better than Eb.Is he related to flip? they both are from ohio.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 13, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what David Stern is doing with Gilberts checks.

This seems pretty excessive.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 13, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I found the discussion over the last few days about Marc Gasol interesting as he's a player I saw a lot of in Spain, and came to admire because of all the work he put in to change from slow and pudgy, to a solid NBA center who is clearly a step up from BH. The Memphis front office knew perfectly who they were getting and they should be congratualted on their vision (I'll wait a few more months before congratualting them on acquiring Zach Randolph).
Let me throw out a name that might seem a
"throw-in" should the Wizards deal with San Antonio, but might be quite useful to the team: Tiago Splitter, currently one of the top big men in the Spanish league. The Spurs have his draft rights and he seems to me a type of big man in the Biedrins model, fundamentally sound on the boards, agile, decent shot, decent passer, in short, better than anything on the roster now.

Posted by: mugsybol | January 13, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

divi3,
I just checked and BTH is averaging the lowest number of shots per game (7.0) among all of the C in the league getting 30+ minutes.

He's scoring

If you want more points from the position, we need to give him the ball more.

I just looked at his stats in games we won and lost and his numbers are almost identical. Based on stats alone, (I know they are only PART of the picture) he isnt the reason we are winning or losing.
Considering that C has always been such a problem position for us, that's not a bad thing. We dont need him to win or lose games for us. As long as he plays his man even, rebounds, plays defense, and blocks shots like a big man should (and he has), our 'stars' should be able to pull games out.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

He's scoring...

...at a .547 rate from the field so he's not shooting poorly...

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"he isnt the reason we are winning or losing."

but we are losing, he is a FA, so why invest the resources to keep him when he'll be past 30 anyway?

He clearly doesnt win any games for us- how much is a guy worth who at best is having no result on outcomes?

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

No reason I can see the team should allocate much resource to re-signing him

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse


I've never thought Brendan was the problem w/ this team, but I also don't think he's going to be worth re-signing.

He's a piece, not a real difference maker.

All you have to be is "decent" as a center in the NBA to get paid big bucks; and he's probably going to get that.


A random trade thought:

If Michael Jordan still likes Brendan Haywood, maybe we trade him down there for Raymond Felton.

Posted by: p1funk | January 13, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

i'm not joking when i say trade Brendon now to Portland for Oden/Pendergraph/Cunningham.

It works out salary-wise, and Oden only has 2yrs left on his deal, so who cares if he's a bust with Mcgee on roster anyway.

We'd get two 240pound forwards on the cheap, see if either develops while we then move AB/AJ to fill back court needs.

Blazers need exactly an Haywood type player, and they're in the hunt...just maybe they'd do it given they've got Alridge at PF anyway

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, the main reason I think it's worth re-signing BTH is because for years, the C position WAS the reason we were losing. I don't mind a draw at C but a huge deficit will definitely get you killed in this league.

Plus, we need a durable guy who goes out every night, rebounds, blocks shots, plays defense and doesnt cause a stink. Ive read where ppl think that he doesnt accept his role.
Where is that coming from? He shoots 7 times a game, rebounds, blocks shots, plays defense, gets his points off of offensive rebounds.
Sounds like he accepted the s**t out of his role.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

If you want more points from the position, we need to give him the ball more.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

He shoots 7 times a game, rebounds, blocks shots, plays defense, gets his points off of offensive rebounds.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

If he was content in getting his points off offensive rebounds, then he'd have accepted his role. But the truth is that he wants to get the ball more, which suggests that he thinks he can do something with it. Problem is, he can't. His attempts at posting up and taking jumpshots are ill-fated because he has no facility for either. If he wants more points, he needs to grab more offensive rebounds. Barring that, giving him the ball more in half-court offense is likely to produce more turnovers and empty possessions than it will points.

He is what he is: A 30-year-old journeyman C with size but very limited offensive skills and athleticism whose role is hustle and grunt work. Is there a place for that in the NBA? Sure. Will teams pay big money to get it? Not likely (at least not in this economic climate).

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

And it's a moot point anyway, because given the state of the franchise, why the hell would Haywood want to re-sign here?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"But the truth is that he wants to get the ball more, which suggests that he thinks he can do something with it."

Where did he say that? Because I don't remember him clamoring for more shots. As players go he's been really reasonable and, much to my surprise, really worked his butt off. I'm totally with original_mark on this one. Haywood is holding his own on the court. It's other players who are really, really coming up short and throwing games away.

Posted by: steveh46 | January 13, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, the main reason I think it's worth re-signing BTH is because for years, the C position WAS the reason we were losing. I don't mind a draw at C but a huge deficit will definitely get you killed in this league.

Plus, we need a durable guy who goes out every night, rebounds, blocks shots, plays defense and doesnt cause a stink. Ive read where ppl think that he doesnt accept his role.
Where is that coming from? He shoots 7 times a game, rebounds, blocks shots, plays defense, gets his points off of offensive rebounds.
Sounds like he accepted the s**t out of his role.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010

It is not worth signing Brendan Haywood here is why.
Reason 1 he has already stated he is going to test free agency.

Reason 2 and the best reason not to sign him . I will not be worth signing him at the price he will command from other teams and if the wizards mtch do you really think he will sign with us I SERIOUSLY DOUBT IT.

So why not trade him before the deadline and at least get something in return for him

Posted by: rnorris6 | January 13, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree with both of you to a point. He's as good as gone.

But here's what I dont get:

If he was content in getting his points off offensive rebounds, then he'd have accepted his role.

Where was it written or said that he wasn't accepting his role? This reads as though he's a malcontent who's been complaining about not getting enough shots.
I don't recall a single incident where he said anything derogatory except when he spoke out about folks playing D and looking to score. It seems to me that he's the only on who actually DOES play his role and gets it.

As far as him being a journeyman, I have always assumed that 'journeyman' meant a player has been on multiple teams and moved a lot because he didnt have a skill that compelled teams to keep them.

BTH doesnt fit that description.

Here...let's look at your own descrition...

...with size but very limited offensive skills and athleticism whose role is hustle and grunt work

Sounds like Joakim Noah, Anderson Varejao, Birdman, etc to me. They get paid very well.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

But as you guys say, it's really moot because he's outta here.

Is there a chance that we may have hitched our cart to the wrong horse? Maybe the 'BIG 3' should have been Gil, BTH and AJ. At least that would have helped us to emphasize defense a little bit more.

Posted by: original_mark | January 13, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Is there a chance that we may have hitched our cart to the wrong horse? Maybe the 'BIG 3' should have been Gil, BTH and AJ. At least that would have helped us to emphasize defense a little bit more."

i guess we are seeing 2 different things while watching the same games! Because I really dont think BTH is even THAT good defensively. It seems other Cs who can score always toast him, with the nice exception being DHoward.

His current salary of $6mill is his ceiling value, imho, given that Noah is younger, more athletic, and paid $2.4mill to do the same thing.

but as you say, it's all moot

Posted by: divi3 | January 13, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"Sounds like Joakim Noah, Anderson Varejao, Birdman, etc to me. They get paid very well."

Noah is 24 years old playing on a rookie contract. Haywood is 30 looking for a long-term deal. Apples and oranges. The contract Andersen signed in the offseason pays him substantially less than what Haywood is making right now. It's commonly understood that the Cavs overpaid to keep Varajao because Lebron wanted him around and the franchise is manic about keeping James happy. No one else was going to pay him what he's making now. (And that's not even addressing the fact that all of the players you name are substantially more athletic than Haywood.)

Will there be interest in Haywood? Sure. Will teams offer to pay him big time (in NBA terms) money? No, they won't.

"Where did he say that? Because I don't remember him clamoring for more shots. "

Actions speak louder than words. Nary a game goes by when he doesn't, multiple times, attempt to post up 12-15 from the basket, despite the fact that he repeatedly fails to convert on those attempts. If he were content with scoring off hustle and didn't care about getting more half court touches, he'd knock it off.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mugsybol | January 13, 2010 12:28 PM ...I found the discussion over the last few days about Marc Gasol interesting as he's a player I saw a lot of in Spain, and came to admire because of all the work he put in to change from slow and pudgy, to a solid NBA center who is clearly a step up from BH. The Memphis front office knew perfectly who they were getting and they should be congratualted on their vision... a "step up"??? it's like night and day mugsybol! and by doing a little research on Marc Gasol, he was drafted #48 (in the second round!!)in 2007 and guess what ? The Wiz had the 47th pick!!.. check it out, http://www.nbadraft.net/nba_draft_history/2007.html LOSERS.

Posted by: horace1 | January 13, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Supposedly the Wizards don't want to hold a fire sale. They don't want expiring contracts. They want draft picks and promising young players. Either way we are looking at years of rebuilding with Gilbert stuck in the middle.

Posted by: MeviousMan | January 13, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"Actions speak louder than words. Nary a game goes by when he doesn't, multiple times, attempt to post up 12-15 from the basket, despite the fact that he repeatedly fails to convert on those attempts."

Yeah, he's putting up 7 shots a game and making 55% of them. Seven shots in 33 minutes a game. What a selfish player!

Posted by: steveh46 | January 13, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"What a selfish player! "

Who said he was "selfish"? I said he's a bad offensive player who shouldn't be taking (or demanding) shots in a set offense. All of which is true, and none of which necessarily implies selfishness.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 13, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

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