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Trail Blazers (25-16) at Wizards (13-26)

Trail Blazers (25-16) at Wizards (13-26)

Wizards starters: Randy Foye, DeShawn Stevenson, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood

Trail Blazers: Andre Miller, Jerryd Bayless, Martell Webster, Lamarcus, Aldridge, Juwan Howard

Line: Wizards by 1.5

Mike Miller will be available against Portland this afternoon, after missing the past three game when his strained right calf flared up. Coach Flip Saunders said Miller had some fluid removed from his calf last week, but added that he would bring Miller off the bench.

Miller is teaming up with Wizards Care and UNICEF and has pledged to donate $1,000 for every three-pointer that the Wizards make against the Trail Blazers. Fans can also text $5 donations by sending "wizards" via text message to 50555. All donations will go directly to UNICEF.

"I think everyone can see what's going on and the struggles they are going through. I think this can help. Hopefully, we'll make a lot of three-pointers today and I can write a nice little check. It's tied into a good cause," Miller said. "Fortunately for me, I don't have family there, but I've heard stories about people who can't contact people over there or get in contact with people over there. And if you watch everything on television and it's unfortunate."

Saunders said he provided breakfast for his players in preparation for the afternoon game.

The Portland Trail Blazers will be without all-star guard Brandon Roy this afternoon.

By Michael Lee  |  January 18, 2010; 12:33 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards 97, Trail Blazers 92

Comments

Miller is back! We're gonna be decent now! Foye, Miller, Butler, Jamison, Haywood as a starting 5 is formidable enough to help us move on from the exorcism of Gilbert Arenas.

Posted by: KellRawLive | January 18, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young is headed for a DNP tonight.

I'm calling bullshyt.

Posted by: elfreako | January 18, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Looking good with an 8 man rotation right now. Flip doesn't trust Nick's defense enough to warrant giving him extended minutes. Or any minutes.

Posted by: KellRawLive | January 18, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Boykins comes in in the 3rd and Portland goes on a 9 pt scoring streak to take the lead. The dude is not good enough to be in the NBA. Why we can't find someone better in the NBDL or somewhere is beyond me? He's terrible. He even makes Arenas look like a competent defender and he has been called the worst perimeter defender in the NBA by Bill Simmons I believe it was. What does that make Boykins who is non-existent on defense? Seriously, he might as well stay on offensive end and cherry pick.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 18, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

So far durng today's game here are DS's stats: 20 mins, no points, 2 Def rebounds, and one assist. Nick Young 2 mins and 21 secs. On Friday NY played 20 mins and scored 12 points with 2 TO's. Shouldn't Nick play more today and not less? Is my logic flawed?

Posted by: twomangame | January 18, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Boykins was an absolute disaster. Playing defense 4 v 5 has just killed us all year.

Posted by: alvin4 | January 18, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

It's either we're short a man on defense (Boykins or Young in the game) or short a man on offense (Stevenson in the game). I rather Flip go with Young personally.

Posted by: awb9h | January 18, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Nice win. Let's go for three in a row.

Posted by: ptp23 | January 18, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see a single second of it but it looks they put together a good effort.

You have to tip your hat to them. They could easily just roll up and surrender.

Yes, they're professionals who are paid handsomely but they're still human beings.

We've seen other teams in similar situations just implode.


Posted by: SteveMG | January 18, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

And it's been accomplished without ARENAS. I think the true leaders on this team, JAMISON, BUTLER, and HAYWOOD are sending a message to the rest of the WIZARDS.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 18, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know why Roy didn't play?

It'd be nice if every team sat their best player against us.

Posted by: p1funk | January 18, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know why Roy didn't play?

Hamstrung by a hamstring.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 18, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Roy has a hamstring injury. Didn't play Friday when they beat the Magic.

Posted by: ptp23 | January 18, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Guess it was Washington's turn to win one at the line. I thought Butler and Foye were strong, as was Miller. I don't know why some folks here get down on Boykins, other than unreasonable expectations of a small, quick guard.

Nice win, gang.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 18, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Nice win against a good team even without Roy. If Flip sticks with the 8-man rotation, the Wiz should be able to win a few more games on this homestand. Don't understand starting DSS after NY had a nice peformance on Friday. MM adds a lot to this team and it showed today. The real leaders of the team Jamison, Butler, and Haywood have really stepped it up over the last couple of weeks. It would have been 3 in a row without the double OT loss vs. Chicago.

I think it's addition by subtraction with Arenas gone indefinitely and Foye playing PG. If Miller comes off the bench, then NY should be the starter or vice versa. I'd like to see EG let this core group play together for a few weeks before he makes any trades.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 18, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

We'll never get John Wall with that kind of effort.

Posted by: cballer | January 18, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"Guess it was Washington's turn to win one at the line. I thought Butler and Foye were strong, as was Miller. I don't know why some folks here get down on Boykins, other than unreasonable expectations of a small, quick guard.

Nice win, gang."

Care to give one reason why we should be "up" on Boykins. Dude had two good games when he first signed and we were down a couple of guards and has stunk ever since. He has to score 15+ points to make up for all the easy baskets he gives up. I screamed for weeks to have Foye get all his mins and he finally is. The level of talent between the two is not even close and it's a shame that Flip bought into Boykins for so long based on those two aforementioned games. He sees the light now, but at the expense of a couple of possible wins and now being stuck with Boykins for the season.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 18, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

wizfan89,

The thinking is that the NY seems to do better coming off the bench than he does working in the starting line-up. I seem to recall that Flip said something along those lines after the Atlanta game.

I agree with you about the addition by subtraction bit. Maybe next year Arenas's game will have moved along to a point where he can carry teams, but Foye makes the offensive flow work. He's taking quality shots, distributing, and playing good D. As a starter he's shooting between 12-16 attempts most nights.

It's good having Miller available to close out games now too (hopefully the day plus of rest will give the injury some time to recover). The rotation with Miller, Foye, Haywood, Jamison, and Butler is above average.

Posted by: JPRS | January 18, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Coach Flip Saunders said Miller had some fluid removed from his calf last week, but added that he would bring Miller off the bench...and play him 40 minutes?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 18, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Miller played 24 minutes today.

Posted by: JPRS | January 18, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I didn't get a chance to see the game today, but how was Nick Young a -10 in only 2:24 of action?

Posted by: MBUSA | January 18, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"Care to give one reason why we should be "up" on Boykins. Dude had two good games when he first signed and we were down a couple of guards and has stunk ever since. He has to score 15+ points to make up for all the easy baskets he gives up. I screamed for weeks to have Foye get all his mins and he finally is. The level of talent between the two is not even close and it's a shame that Flip bought into Boykins for so long based on those two aforementioned games. He sees the light now, but at the expense of a couple of possible wins and now being stuck with Boykins for the season.Posted by: rphilli721"

Well, most of what you said is opinion, but it's worth noting Boykins is averaging 18 minutes a game and is above his career averages in most of the relevant categories, especially FG percentage. He's nobody's idea of a full-time starter, but Flip never intended him to be. He could back up Arenas and when Arenas went down, he can back up Foye. Randy has problems with smaller, quicker PGs and Boykins can help there. Boykins is a better matchup for players like Brandon Jennings or Chris Paul who can overwhelm Foye with sheer speed.

Not that this would persuade you. I didn't realize Earl was such a suppository in your life.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 18, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Boykins is a situational player who can be effective against some teams who have a small, quick PG or when the team needs an energy boost off the bench. Foye is a good fit at PG who needed playing time to gain his confidence. With Arenas gone, Foye has played PG full-time and he has made the most of the opportunity. I'm definitely more comfortable with Foye taking foul shots at the end of the game instead of Arenas who lost us the Indiana game and probably the Boston one as well.

Butler is also more comfortable now that he has the ball in his hands on the offensive end. Arenas never was able to create a good offensive flow this year in Flip's system and the team is playing better off without him. Long-term the team will be better off without Arenas in the lineup if the core players can stay healthy. Let's see if the can get that elusive 3rd win against Dallas on Wednesday.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 18, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Good to get a win, it looks like Caron is beginning to up his game which is good to see. The biggest issue this season had been Caron's lack of near all-star play while AJ and Gil were ballin. Perhaps subtracting Arenas is helping CB for some reason.

Shame Haywood had to pull a Brenda against a team that may have been interested in him. How he plays 40mins against 6'9" players and comes away with 5pt/8reb baffles me.

I gotta agree there's too much Boykins, though he is a fan favorite. But it seems the spark he provides is generally for the other team in the form of 11-2 run as soon as the starters come out.

Posted by: divi3 | January 18, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

MBUSA,

I blinked and missed Young's appearance. I'm guessing it might have been sometime in the 3rd quarter though when Portland posted +8. Don't really know.

Regarding Samson151's point, the only thing I'd add is that Foye can't play 48 minutes and be effective night in and night out.

The law of diminishing returns comes into play at some-point.

Having said that I looked real quickly at the +/- for Boykins and he's had a negative differential for the past 12 games. You can kind of live with those games where he has 15-20 minutes and only has a -3 differential (past two games), but a few of those games were -14 or more in 10 minutes (e.g. the Orlando game with a -20 in something like 10 minutes).

It's not all on Boykins -- the Wizards bench with only one or two exceptions has stunk it up in too many recent games.

Still it does kind of raise the question why Mike James hasn't gotten a look. Is he still injured, or has he been sent into permanent exile?

Posted by: JPRS | January 18, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

divi3,

Caron's hustle was decisive today. He had one put-back in the final 90 seconds where it was him and 3 or 4 Trail Blazers battling for a put-back on the Wizards offensive side of the court. He had a several other good hustle plays on defense.

The other thing I noticed: On offense, instead of taking the contested 14-16 foot jumpers that he sometimes takes, there were two times where Butler faked the shot and then caught Jamison on cutters to the running down the lane to the basket for easy FGs. His shot selection today was first-rate.

Posted by: JPRS | January 18, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Miller played 24 minutes today.

Lot of fours: 4-4 from the field including a 3-pointer, 4-4 free throws, 13 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 TOs.

Nice sixth man.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 18, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

"Caron's hustle was decisive today."

enjoy it while we can? Seems he's been on the block forever.

Posted by: divi3 | January 18, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"Shame Haywood had to pull a Brenda against a team that may have been interested in him. How he plays 40mins against 6'9" players and comes away with 5pt/8reb baffles me."

He's a slow-footed creampuff who wilts in the face of physical pressure and can't guard big men who require him to move his feet to do so. Not so baffling, really.

"I didn't get a chance to see the game today, but how was Nick Young a -10 in only 2:24 of action?"

Take your pick:

(A) Because he's not very good

(B) Because plus/minus is a fantasy league stat that has little to no actual basketball value divorced of the full context of what's going on on the floor..

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 18, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"Well, most of what you said is opinion, but it's worth noting Boykins is averaging 18 minutes a game and is above his career averages in most of the relevant categories, especially FG percentage. He's nobody's idea of a full-time starter, but Flip never intended him to be. He could back up Arenas and when Arenas went down, he can back up Foye. Randy has problems with smaller, quicker PGs and Boykins can help there. Boykins is a better matchup for players like Brandon Jennings or Chris Paul who can overwhelm Foye with sheer speed.

Not that this would persuade you. I didn't realize Earl was such a suppository in your life. "

Opinion? An opinion based on reality. You want Boykins getting mins instead of Foye? You're crazy! And he was for a week or two after Arenas was in trouble or as his primary backup instead of Foye. That is ridiculous! I don't care what Boykins career averages look like Foye is better in every way. As far as smaller quicker PG's, Foye stops penetration before his man gets to the rim better than anybody on the team even if that means giving up a mid-range contested jumper. And, one of my main beefs is that Boykins for his size does not provide such defense or provide better ball pressure ala Bogues. Don't know what game you are watching. I think Boykins +- has been minus for a few games now.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 18, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Good win. I got the definite impression that Blake, for all of his impassive demeanor, really gets up to play the Wiz. A couple of times he put the ball on the floor and drove the lane/baseline looking for his own shot, which is kind of unusual for him as he generally only drives to pass, often passing up point blank layups.

Foye could present an interesting offseason dilemma for the Wizards. If they go into rebuilding mode, he may be the kind of young player worth having around, but he'll have other suitors. He won't get overwhelming dollar offers and since they have his Bird rights, the Wiz will have the chance to outbid for him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 18, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"Shame Haywood had to pull a Brenda against a team that may have been interested in him. How he plays 40mins against 6'9" players and comes away with 5pt/8reb baffles me."

He's a slow-footed creampuff who wilts in the face of physical pressure and can't guard big men who require him to move his feet to do so. Not so baffling, really.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 18, 2010 6:30 PM

Really. Do stats always tell the story? If he was such a slow-footed creampuff who wilts under physical pressure, why didn't the big folks from Portland win the game for them?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 18, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty simple. Portland went on a nice run with Young in the game for a couple of mins. Is that solely his fault? No, but it does speak to the fact that he is simply not very good and a complete liability when his shot is not falling. This team has too many of those types of players - Boykins, Young, even AJ to a certain extent (although he finds ways to score virtually every game). Then we have players who are a complete liability on the offensive end like McGee, Oberto, DS and McGuire. This team to be successful needed JC, AJ, and MM to be healthy for virtually the entire season along with everyone else to be a well balanced successful team. We know how that has played out.

The current lineup of Foye, Miller, AJ, CB and BH is still good enough to make the playoffs in the East if healthy for the remainder of the season, but now there is zero bench to speak of once again and Miller staying healthy is a huge if. The Curse Les Boulez remains as healthy as ever though. It's a shame as some playoff "contenders" in the East are pathetic and teams like Orlando aren't playing nearly as well as some thought.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 18, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"Really. Do stats always tell the story? If he was such a slow-footed creampuff who wilts under physical pressure, why didn't the big folks from Portland win the game for them?"

Haywood was up against Juwan Howard and Jeff Pendergraph, both guys are 6'9". Portland's centers are injured.

Posted by: divi3 | January 18, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"Opinion? An opinion based on reality. You want Boykins getting mins instead of Foye? You're crazy! And he was for a week or two after Arenas was in trouble or as his primary backup instead of Foye. That is ridiculous! I don't care what Boykins career averages look like Foye is better in every way. As far as smaller quicker PG's, Foye stops penetration before his man gets to the rim better than anybody on the team even if that means giving up a mid-range contested jumper. And, one of my main beefs is that Boykins for his size does not provide such defense or provide better ball pressure ala Bogues. Don't know what game you are watching. I think Boykins +- has been minus for a few games now.Posted by: rphilli721"

I don't get the rancor towards this guy. He was four of five against the Bulls, six of ten against the Kings, two of four against the Blazers -- averaging less than twenty minutes per during that span. His EFF so far this season is a respectable +7.72. He doesn't compete with Foye; he's supposed to relieve him so he stays fresh. And spot start if he gets hurt.

Randy Foye can't stay with quicker players. For whatever his other faults, Boykins can. And Boykins is freakish strong.

You should lighten up on the guy. He is what he is.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 18, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

We'll never get John Wall with that kind of effort.

Posted by: cballer | January 18, 2010 4:18 PM
I feel you. Ted hurry up take over, blow up the team before we get a 8th seed and lose in the first round. Then go though this same crap next year.

Posted by: dsquare | January 18, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"Really. Do stats always tell the story? If he was such a slow-footed creampuff who wilts under physical pressure, why didn't the big folks from Portland win the game for them?"

Haywood was up against Juwan Howard and Jeff Pendergraph, both guys are 6'9". Portland's centers are injured.

Posted by: divi3 | January 18, 2010 7:10 PM

Oh Really!!! I guess Haywood took the night off. Didn't need to bring his A' game 'cause he wasn't playin' nobody.

Excuse him for being smart and knowing when to bring it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 18, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

We'll never get John Wall with that kind of effort.

Posted by: cballer | January 18, 2010 4:18 PM
I feel you. Ted hurry up take over, blow up the team before we get a 8th seed and lose in the first round. Then go though this same crap next year.

Posted by: dsquare | January 18, 2010 7:41 PM |

What shred of intuitiveness makes you two think that if you have a group of players that are good enough to play into the playoffs is not as good as a group of players than can't, just to get a draft pick that has broken his knees.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 18, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"Oh Really!!! I guess Haywood took the night off. Didn't need to bring his A' game 'cause he wasn't playin' nobody.

Excuse him for being smart and knowing when to bring it."

Yeah, because I'm sure your idols, Dean Smith and Red Auerbach, always preached the philosophy of "only play hard on certain nights" to their players all the time.

Don't worry Mike, we're only playin' Clemson tonight; 40, 45% should be enough. Save the rest for Duke."

What classic nonsense.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 18, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"I don't get the rancor towards this guy. He was four of five against the Bulls, six of ten against the Kings, two of four against the Blazers -- averaging less than twenty minutes per during that span. His EFF so far this season is a respectable +7.72. He doesn't compete with Foye; he's supposed to relieve him so he stays fresh. And spot start if he gets hurt.

Randy Foye can't stay with quicker players. For whatever his other faults, Boykins can. And Boykins is freakish strong.

You should lighten up on the guy. He is what he is."

He sucks! I don't have to lighten up on anybody. He was in Europe for a reason. Funny how the Bulls and Sac game he also had the worst +- on the team bc A) He can't defend a lick even against smaller guards. You're fantasizing that one. B) He can't run the offense at all either. He is like GA with none of the offensive talent.

Yeah, he is good for about 7/8 mins a night to spell Foye and that's all. It's a shame we can't find a better backup at PG. There has got to be someone out there that can at least defend and hit an open shot. Boykins can hit an open shot, but the problem is he can't get any bc he is too small. And, the rancor I did have was bc he was at one point starting over Foye and getting the backup mins behind GA, which I knew was absurd. Flip finally figured that one out, a little slowly I might add.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 19, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

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