Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Wizards 97, Trail Blazers 92


It's been so rare this season that it's easy to forget that the Wizards' locker room really is a much better place to be after wins. The jokes are on point, the laughter is contagious.

Moments after the Wizards defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday afternoon, Caron Butler emerged from the shower and lobbed a towel in the direction of Nick Young, who was getting dressed by his locker room stall. The towel landed directly on Young's head. Young scrunched up his face, tossed the towel to the floor to asked Dominic McGuire, "Who threw that towel?" When McGuire told him it was Butler, Young asked, "Did he wipe his [butt] with that?"

Shortly thereafter, Andray Blatche strolled over to Randy Foye's locker room stall and surveyed his collection of colognes. When he found a fragrance that he liked, Blatche sprayed himself down and said, "Tell Randy Foye, I said, 'Thank you.'" Asked about Blatche's cologne raids, Foye laughed and said, "Hey, whatever makes 'Dray happy. I'm an assist man. I'm just getting assists."

The Wizards have won two in a row, again. It's the fourth time this season that they've won consecutive games -- and first since Dec. 22-23 -- and they have yet to win three in a row. So that's why Brendan Haywood wasn't exactly ready to throw a parade after back-to-back wins over the Sacramento and an injury-ravaged Portland team playing without Brandon Roy. "It only counts as two in a row and we've got a lot of ground to make up," Haywood said.

But he did admit that the Wizards are playing better basketball of late. "We're playing better team basketball and better defensively," he said. "I definitely feel more guys are trying to make a concerted effort to make the extra pass. I'm sad it took this many games to realize it -- no one can do it by themselves. Hero ball won't win it for us."

Haywood credited the return of Mike Miller for helping the Wizards focus on moving the ball more. Miller was back after missing 25 of the past 27 games with a strained right calf. He has missed 28 games this season, but have to wonder if he would've made a difference had he been healthy for more games. It doesn't matter now, as the Wizards try to move on without Gilbert Arenas. But they should be encouraged that Miller felt fine after scoring 13 points with four assists in just over 24 minutes. He played 39 minutes when he came back against Orlando on Jan. 8, which let to another setback.

"I feel pretty good," Miller said after the game. "My wind is pretty tough and I've been in a boot for three, four days. They limited my minutes, which was good."

In the past seven games, the Wizards have held five opponents below 100 points.
Coach Flip Saunders said that the Wizards are starting to form their identity, with him having to use 17 different lineups, including four since Arenas was suspended indefinitely on Jan. 6.

"The team has been in flux a lot, through injuries or whatever, so it's been ever changing. I think we're starting to get more consistency," he said. "Sometimes what happens, when you lose somebody, whether it's through injury or whatever, the players, they have to become more coachable."

Several Wizards players decided to honor the late Martin Luther King Jr. by wearing some special gray Nikes, with red, black and green trim. The colors represent, respectively, the blood that unites people of African ancestry, the people and the natural wealth of the continent. Andray Blatche, Dominic McGuire, Randy Foye, Earl Boykins and Haywood all wore the shoes.

"Nice colors. I knew what it was for. It was basically to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," Haywood said. "It didn't match anything I had on, but it was to show respect for what he did for us. We owe that man and the people in the struggle and that movement so much because they paved the way."

By Michael Lee  |  January 18, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Trail Blazers (25-16) at Wizards (13-26)
Next: Wizards' morning brew: a win over the Blazers

Comments

Hope the Wizards can make a lot out of these upcoming home games.

Posted by: 7snider7 | January 18, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, turns out we're better without a shoot-first, half-mobile, I-refuse-to-play-defense wash up after all! Who knew?!

Posted by: awb9h | January 18, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

So...anyone still say we should be playing AB instead of AJ? Larry???? I am calling you out.

This is the kind of game we should have played Mcgee a bit. He could have fun in this one and completely whipped around Howard, Aldridge and Pender.

I am happy with the win. Haywood is back to normal after his 5 game outperformance.

Posted by: Blurred | January 18, 2010 7:59 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 8:16 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 8:18 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 then just proceeds to break his knees.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 18, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

So...anyone still say we should be playing AB instead of AJ? Larry???? I am calling you out.

Posted by: Blurred | January 18, 2010 7:59

You must have me confused with somebody else. I've never advocated playing AB instead AJ.

What I've advocated is playing AB at the 4 and move AJ to the three.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 18, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Player are going to have less than stellar nights sometimes. I don't know why this board tends to overvalue one game either for good or bad.

Also, on a similar note, I'd wait until we win a few more games before I'd say we are a better team without a certain player.

Posted by: cannontl | January 18, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

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 then just proceeds to break his knees.

LarryInClintonMD.

LMAO........please

Posted by: dsquare | January 18, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the same dumb azz intuitiveness that makes you think that our first round pick is going to break his knees or the same dumb azz intuitiveness that you constanly support the players on this team. AB is a bum (believe it), gil was wrong, cant be a leader and should have his contract voided(believe it) and you dont know what the hell you are talking about in most of your post(believe it) Larry in Lalaland.

Posted by: dsquare | January 18, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 18, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the same dumb azz intuitiveness that makes you think that our first round pick is going to break his knees or the same dumb azz intuitiveness that you constanly support the players on this team. AB is a bum (believe it), gil was wrong, cant be a leader and should have his contract voided(believe it) and you dont know what the hell you are talking about in most of your post(believe it) Larry in Lalaland.

Posted by: dsquare | January 18, 2010 9:01 PM

Yeah, Right. Good luck thinking just play for the lottery and John Wall is going to be your savior.

Thats the same loser mentality than hasn't won anything here.

Where, I come from we play to win. From the top of the organization to the bottom.

Put your best forward and make good decisions thereto. Playing to lose don't cut it.

Thats why winners win and losers lose. And yeah, you have to be for the players when the organization dosen't give them half a chance to win.

Name one good draft choice that the Wizards have kept and developed on this Team in the last 15 years.

Go ahead, I'm waiting. And yawl keep hollering. It's the players, it's the players.

Yeah right, this Wizard organization shifts good talent elsewhere and benches young talent for making mistakes.

You got to play to win baby, not play to lose, from the top to the bottom.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 18, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I guess he needed an agent after all.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704541004575011012122755400.html

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 18, 2010 9:14 PM

You would be right about that.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 18, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Brendan Haywood

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 18, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

...... You got to play to win baby, not play to lose, from the top to the bottom.

LarryInClintonMD

You have at least admit that this team cant be more than a 7 seed in the playoffs for the 2 years, then it will get worst. Why not try to rebuild the team, yes we have some nice pieces to this team that I would love to keep (Wouldn't love to see Wall to McGee, as the corner stone of the franchise). Its not about trying to lose games, rather not acepting mediocrity, who want a regular team. Try to be the best and if your best is not good enough then rebuild. We are in DC the Nations Capitol for god's sake, not some hick town that no one would want to play for. I tired of this team of spoilled rotten, non hustling, jump shooting, me first brats. Yes, move on.

Posted by: dsquare | January 18, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

"We're playing better team basketball and better defensively," he said. "I definitely feel more guys are trying to make a concerted effort to make the extra pass. I'm sad it took this many games to realize it -- no one can do it by themselves. Hero ball won't win it for us."

It sounds like Gil's teamates have even bailed on him?

Who would have thought players don't like playing with a ball hog?

AI!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 18, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

HAYWOOD haters have no soul.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 18, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't waste your breath, dsquare. Some people are deaf to logic.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 18, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

uh... i dont know what game some of you were watching but Haywood was guarding Aldridge for the majority of the time.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | January 18, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Some of us too critical on BH, the more we do it,the more it sounds personal.BH made two very critical defenssive stops in the final two minutes. He was not playing for stat.He covered a wide position to try to take more space for the penetrating gard(AM). not to score 40.He did not box out a lot ,i think that is why AJ also have few rebounds.TB were playing out side game It is usualy hard for BH to follow his man in a zone defense but he impressed me on the last two shoots by their PF.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 19, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice to make the playoffs. However winning against lottery teams and injury plagued teams and sneaking into the playoffs in a weak eastern conference is not the answer. Hopefully, with new management, the Wizards will be able to purge themselves of this loser mentality and become a viable, credible, and elite team. Maybe we can start(or add to) with the draft, a predicted strong draft for 2010.

Posted by: Theone9 | January 19, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I think Gil is going to regret not paying that 10% to an agent all along. If he had had a good agent, he would have been muzzled fast enough before he sunk his own ship with his lips. He probably should talk to Critt's agent first. That guy did a heck of a job with his player (Critt).

Posted by: tundey | January 19, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to see the Wiz play together for a change. I'm as impressed by a game like that losing effort in Chicago as I am with a victory. It doesn't change the essential fact that the Wiz lack the elements to win a title, and therefore should probably be broken up. But Jamison's play -- by the way, he doesn't look much like a me-first loser, does he? -- and the improved play from Butler and Haywood can only help in trades, should they happen.

These guys had a perfect excuse to go into the tank on the season, and so far, they haven't. Of course, something else could happen this week. We'll see. Meanwhile, the basketball has been worth watching.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 19, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"He probably should talk to Critt's agent first. That guy did a heck of a job with his player (Critt).Posted by: tundey"

You make a good point. How much have we heard about Javaris? Didn't he bring a loaded gun into the locker room? And cock it? Wasn't there a story about the police searching his home for the weapon, which he apparently ditched?

Yet the papers have nothing on him. I like the guy as a player, but he sounds even crazier than Gilbert.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 19, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Good riddance to Javaris. How can you coach a team with a player who is bringing guns and ammo to his locker everyday?

Another guy derailed by injury and now done.

Posted by: divi3 | January 19, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"uh... i dont know what game some of you were watching but Haywood was guarding Aldridge for the majority of the time."

i was watching the game from my seat and noticed Juwan and Pendergraph were on Haywood the entire 1st half. That's the type of situation where you'd like to see Haywood take 10 shots in the 1st half alone, instead of getting blocked at the rim by 6'7" Martell Webster and then crawling into a shell.

It's really time to start getting McGee decent minutes, he's going to be the starter next season whereas BTH and AB wont be here

Posted by: divi3 | January 19, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

You make a good point. How much have we heard about Javaris? Didn't he bring a loaded gun into the locker room? And cock it? Wasn't there a story about the police searching his home for the weapon, which he apparently ditched?

Yet the papers have nothing on him. I like the guy as a player, but he sounds even crazier than Gilbert.


Posted by: Samson151 | January 19, 2010 8:42 AM

Crit's story is he did not have a gun and he's sticking to it.
On the other hand, Arenas couldn't or wouldn't keep his mouth shut and he's paying the price for it.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | January 19, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"Crit's story is he did not have a gun and he's sticking to it."

Without the gun, it's hard to imagine sticking him with a possession charge on the word of witnesses. A smart strategy for a guilty man in a criminal trial.

But death as far as his career in basketball.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 19, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 19, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Boswell flat out nails it:

Posted by: kalo_rama |

Yea, but what if the pollin family hold up the sale of the franchise past the trade deadline. Ernie may be waiting for the right trade to come along though if he still have the power to do trades. He might be a dead beat GM now, waiting for owership transition to happen. That can hamper us because the next years draft is not as good as this one. Get as many drafts picks as possible.
Since we do see eye to eye on this matter who would be your hold over players for next year.
Mine: Foye(1st guard off the bench), Haywood(above average starting center),
McGee(back-up/future starting center),
McGuire(back-up Small Forward) and Boykins as 11/12 man and maybe Young (as back up shooting guard).

Posted by: dsquare | January 19, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Westly Johnson eventually may be the best player in this draft. His ceiling can be on the level close to Kobe, certainlly better than Brandon Roy. Lawal from G.Tech would look really good next to McGee and Wall damm they all look good. Purge the team Know, please.

Posted by: dsquare | January 19, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Assuming one way or another Arenas, AJ, and CB will be gone- I see it this way

BTH- gone
Miller- gone (by his volition)
AB- gone
Mcguire- gone
Boykins- gone

Foye- keep
NY- keep
JM- keep
DS- forced to keep due to contract

however i suspect either AJ or CB will be on the roster next season

in any event, massive turnover that will completely change the dynamic of the team

Posted by: divi3 | January 19, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

there are no guarantees of getting the #1 pick in the draft because you play to lose. or because you gut the team. you still have to win the pingball battle. and even though all you professional talent evaluators believe a certain player would be the perfect fit, that too is no guarantee. the people paid to make those evaluations get it wrong too. you can blow the whole thing up now and hopefully you like losing because it's going to be real ugly for THREE or FOUR MORE years while the rebuilt team comes together.. some of you all seem to really hate losing, so please no tears while that process takes place. the good thing for now would be to maybe get something for Antawn(preferably a pick), start blatch at the 4, move caron to the 2, nick young at the 3. see how that goes. the wholesale destruction at this point would not allow the new ownership time to do their own evaluation on what is here and what should be done...

Posted by: joerutgens72 | January 19, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company