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Jamison and the All-Star Game

This morning was certainly not your typical shootaround atmosphere for the Washington Wizards. The hallways surrounding the practice gym were filled with bishops, priests and cardinals, all getting ready for 10 a.m. mass as part of a Right to Life event in the nation's capital.

Center Frabricio Oberto stopped briefly to pose for pictures and exchange what I can only assume were pleasantries with a group of priests outside the doors to the practice gym. He spoke to them in Spanish.

Finally, after the throng of men in flowing white robes began walking to the Verizon Center court, Wizards Coach Flip Saunders addressed the small gathering of media and talked about the potential for forward Antawn Jamison to be a coaches selection to the All-Star team.

"What always happens when you get to the All-Star situation is there's usually 16 guys who are deserving, and so those spots end up becoming difficult," Saunders said. "If you can make it, it's great. How I've always voted a lot, I've voted on record to be honest, so if he [doesn't] make it, it's not because he's not playing at an All-Star caliber. It's because the team is not fuctioning at the level it needs to be."

The Wizards finished the first half of the season 14-27, including Wednesday's 94-93 loss to Dallas. The Wizards had a chance to win with the last shot, but Caron Butler's jumper was blocked with 1.9 seconds to play.

The subject of trade rumors and speculation, Jamison had just seven points on 2-for-10 shooting against the Mavericks. It was the first time since a 105-98 loss to Philadelphia on Dec. 22 that the two-time All-Star did not reached double-figure scoring.

"It's just a game," Jamison said. "I think the more you dwell on it, that's when it lingers. I've been doing this for a while, and it was a tough one. After the game, you're just sitting there like 'If I would have played better, maybe the outcome would have been different.'

"But my teammates picked me up, and we still had a chance to win it. You just learn from those mistakes. You try to be more prepared for the next game. You try to be more aggressive."

The Wizards play the Miami Heat (21-20), coming off a 104-65 loss to Charlotte, tonight at 7. Check back here about an hour before tip-off for the starting lineups and inactives, as well as other pregame news and notes.

By Gene Wang  |  January 22, 2010; 10:56 AM ET
 
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Next: Polls: Looking back, looking forward

Comments

I guess I'm surprised that given the drama surrounding them, this team has played as well as it has. Certainly they're playing better than they did last year. I would have expected them to regress, or maybe even go into the dumpster.

Foye and Miller get some credit for that, but mostly I suspect it's Jamison. Leonsis or whoever ends up owning the club is going to owe Jamison for keeping up his trade value.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"Certainly they're playing better than they did last year. I would have expected them to regress, or maybe even go into the dumpster."

Talent-wise, this is a better team than last year, we have Miller, Foye and Haywood (for the most part) that weren't on last year's team.

Posted by: sagaliba | January 22, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Talent-wise, this is a better team than last year, we have Miller, Foye and Haywood (for the most part) that weren't on last year's team.Posted by: sagaliba"

Last year's team didn't play together very well. Neither did this year's model, until recently.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Having an actual experienced coach with a track record of success as opposed to a glorified seat stuffer helps too.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 22, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Miami is one of those teams that plays decent defense and likes to hang close until Wade has an opportunity to win it at the end. It's a very good strategy if you happen to have Dwyane Wade. The Wiz don't have a scorer like that at the moment, which makes them vulnerable to teams that do.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

A thought about Beasley -- the consensus seems to be he's playing better, although his numbers don't necessarily reflect it. Ironically, many publications continue to list him at 6'10"; if he was, he'd have had a much easier time adjusting to the NBA. He's about 6'7" in his socks. He's a good jumper but put him at the 4 and he has some of the same problems that Shawn Marion does.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The last time the Wiz played the Heat, Nick Young started and held Dywane Wade to 18 points. Nick played 37 minutes, scored 22 points and played great defense. LOGIC dictates starting Foye and Young in the backcourt tonight.

If I see DeShawn in the starting lineup, I'll turn the game off.

Posted by: musicmanjr | January 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The main formula for wiz to win tonight is to mach the defense starting in the 1st second.Playing defense after you put teams on the rythm is a killer.we have to admit that we are not a good team, no matter good we are in the game we do not have the best PG that could facilitate or drive the ball for last shoot or a perfect PF that could play in the paint.The only obtion for this team is to play team defense for 48 minutes.Ball stagnation and super dribbling are not going to take us any where, try MJ and see what he is going to give you at the point.EB is doing great things but he is hurting the team defense because of his size.The ball movment is mainly affected by him and Cb.In general except AB&MM, no one in the team look to pass the ball to the paint or to open man that can take a shoot.It is hard to win if the assist is not at least >18 per game.I will trade for a veteran PG like Andre Miller if the plan is to rebuild with out Arenas, we will see a decent basketball in the process even if they do not win.I like the last 4 games, but they are not yet to a level to win 5 games in a row.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 22, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"The last time the Wiz played the Heat, Nick Young started and held Dywane Wade to 18 points. Nick played 37 minutes, scored 22 points and played great defense. LOGIC dictates starting Foye and Young in the backcourt tonight.If I see DeShawn in the starting lineup, I'll turn the game off.
Posted by: musicmanjr"

You don't think the Wiz have played better of late, with Stevenson in the starting lineup?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 22, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Samson151 said:

You don't think the Wiz have played better of late, with Stevenson in the starting lineup?

The Wiz have have two victories in their last four games. DeShawn put up two points in the 121-119 loss to the Bulls. His next start, against the Kings, was his best as he scored nine points and had three assists and only one turnover. But DeShawn failed to score in the 97-92 win over the Trailblazers, had one assist and two turnovers. Against the Mavs he again failed to score and totalled no assists and had a turnover. That's two consecutive games without scoring any points.

Now, in my opinion, Nick Young would be hard pressed to put up worse numbers in a starting role. With Gilbert gone, the Wizards need a player that brings some scoring punch AND the ability to guard his man. Start NY at the two guard spot and bring Dominic McGuire off the bench when we need a lockdown defender. DeShawn
Stevenson has already had more chances as a Wizards starting guard than he deserves.

Posted by: musicmanjr | January 22, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Fab should have asked the priests to perform an exorcism and get whatever deamons that always haunt the Wiz out of there !!!!!

Posted by: Section102 | January 22, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Jamison is NOT AN ALL STAR!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | January 22, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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