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Bulls (29-26) at Wizards (19-34)

Wizards starters: Randy Foye, Josh Howard, Mike Miller, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee.
Inactives: Mike James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

Bulls starters: Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Brad Miller.
Inactives: Joe Alexander, Lindsey Hunter, Jerome James.

Line: Bulls by 2.

Chicago enters tonight's game winners of four in a row and six of seven, although the upswing may be a bit misleading. Over that stretch, the Bulls have beaten only one team with a winning record (Miami, 29-28), and two of their victories came over New York, which is a half-game behind the Wizards.

The Bulls have played one team with a winning record in their past seven games -- Orlando (38-19) -- and lost, 107-87. Still, Wizards Coach Flip Saunders wasn't about to downplay Chicago's recent run of good fortune.

"They're playing very well," Saunders said. "In Derrick Rose, they have all-star guard. They have the ability to control the game, and not even scoring-wise. They are a team that does a lot of things. They rebound the ball so well. They're an energy team. Our strength is our ability to play hard, and we're going to have to play harder than them."

The Wizards have shown more determination over their past three game since a series of trades remade the roster. Among the players of note has been center JaVale McGee, who has averaged 11 points per game over the Wizards' last three, including a season-high 14 in Wednesday's 108-99 victory over Minnesota.

McGee, however, is not 100 percent after getting increased minutes since the trades. He has played at least 22 minutes in each of the past three games. In the three games before that, McGee played 18 minutes total.

"He's banged up," said Saunders, but added McGee would be in the starting lineup tonight. "He's not used to playing the amount of minutes and getting banged up. A couple games ago, he got hit in the mouth."

By Gene Wang  |  February 22, 2010; 6:50 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards postgame wrapup

Comments

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Posted by: Vicc | February 22, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, he got hit in the mouth, and he is "banged up!"

Posted by: sagaliba | February 22, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow, he got hit in the mouth, and he is "banged up!"

Posted by: sagaliba | February 22, 2010 6:54 PM


`
Absolutely. The team reduced his diet to jello and apple sauce. In addition they hired an escort to practice tongue and cheek exercises. According to league sources, of course.

Posted by: Vicc | February 22, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh Damn.

Josh Howard appears to have injured his knee...there goes the season...Damn!

(dripping with sarcasm)

Posted by: Vicc | February 22, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Damn J-Howard.

Just when this team was getting a nice enjoyable rhythm.

Can we move back to the Capital Center?

Posted by: maxer18 | February 22, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

McGee's first shot, even he was surprised that it went in, he looked at his left hand in amazement!

His second shot, a wild brick, and the coach just sit him down.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 22, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Hope it's just a knee sprain with Howard but I don't like the way that knee buckled.

Posted by: gimmedat | February 22, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I like McGee's 3rd shot, but then he gave up a basket to Noah by forgetting to guard him...

Posted by: sagaliba | February 22, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Kalo_rama,

Why isn't McGee playing and why isn't Miller shooting the ball?

I know, McGee makes mistakes and I don't know why Miller dosen't shoot the ball, you tell me.

LarryInClintonMD.

Anyone tell me. Flip, uhh, Samson, uh uh anybody?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 22, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

The more Flip gets in control the more the Team goes out of control.

Basketball is a spontaneous game. The great coaches understand this.

But yet you have these wannabee coaches still thinking that action on the floor is a controlled environment that they themselves must orchestrate.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 22, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

DAMMMMMMMMM J-HO, my next favorite wizard..What looks like a torn ACL or some knee dislocation, same song and dance.

Posted by: crisco00786 | February 22, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

And SDMTW.... or whatever you moniker is, you need to change to something that folks can remember without having to find it so we can respond to your comments.

Why in the world would you have a stream of letters that make no sense as your blog name?

What is it? Why? It is unique. But who carries around a stream of letters that corresponds to nothing resembling any famililarity at all.

I hope you know whom I am referring too, cause I had a hard day at work and I don't feel like going back through the blogs to find your name that is just a bunch of letters.

Sorry man, but you really need to think about that blog name you got.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 22, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope the guys who've been on this team awhile let Howard know about the Wizards quack medical staff and urge him to schedule an MRI with an outside physician ASAP.

Posted by: gimmedat | February 22, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD,

You can just do a "find" on the page using his copied initials. You really don't have to search.

HTH.

bent

Posted by: bentoenail | February 22, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Is there an update on Howard? I have been listing to the radio and so far no mention.

Posted by: BigNasty | February 22, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again, folks. Wiz up heading into the fourth. What's the over/under on how many minutes Little Earl Boykins plays this quarter?

Posted by: gimmedat | February 22, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Why is Ross playing over Young?

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 22, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again Boykins, bring back Mike James and cut this bum

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 22, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

McGee plays and Miller shoots. Humm.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 22, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

The Earl sits.
Thank you, Flip, thank you!

Posted by: and_1 | February 22, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Nice work tonight by the Wiz. Blatche was good again, Thornton filled in nicely after Howard left the game and Singleton is a nice addition.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 22, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Are my eyes deceiving me, or did I just watch the Washington Wizards play defense?

Posted by: Kev29 | February 22, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Great win!!
If we'd started the season with these guys, we'd be in the playoffs. They hustle their a$$es off and play unselfishly. They are the polar opposites of the So-so Three.

Posted by: and_1 | February 22, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Nice win fellas

.500 ball the rest of the way!

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 22, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow. 3 out of 4 is pretty damn strong...maybe Flip should never hold a practice and just let these guys continue to just throw it up and go.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 22, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Thank god we have a breath of fresh air! I can finally watch a game without having to go find reruns of Monk by the end of the 1st quarter....

Posted by: LaureninGlenBurnie | February 22, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

maybe Flip should never hold a practice and just let these guys continue to just throw it up and go.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 22, 2010 9:41 PM

There is more wisdom in that statement than you can imagine.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 22, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Nice game. This is what I'm talking about - a team of guys trying to win games. Problem for the NBA is, young guys are hungry, but how do you get your 10-20 million dollar a year guys on multi-year contracts to play to win? Why would they care who wins? The whole incentive system is all out of whack. If they don't get that right, it all goes in the toilet.

Posted by: clocker58 | February 22, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Nice game. This is what I'm talking about - a team of guys trying to win games. Problem for the NBA is, young guys are hungry, but how do you get your 10-20 million dollar a year guys on multi-year contracts to play to win? Why would they care who wins? The whole incentive system is all out of whack. If they don't get that right, it all goes in the toilet.

Posted by: clocker58 | February 22, 2010 9:48 PM


You could do that by taking away the guaranteed contracts but you know that will never happen.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 22, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Who is this guy James Singleton getting all these rebounds ?? His stat line looks like Popeye Jones, straight glass eater !!

Posted by: barno-1 | February 22, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

All day mutha flippin Dray!

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Guess what?

AB took 13 shots and went 9-9 at the charity stripe!

As I've always been saying, this dude needed to be on the court and MeTawn, a gunner, should have been coming off the bench.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 22, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 22, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I just don't understand why Young can't get any pt? Is he that bad that he can't get in the game, even with all the new guys. Everybody wanted to cut/trade Blatche but as soon as he gets some consistent pt he's producing. I believe the same can be accomplished with Nick. If they're not going to use him, why not trade him. This is his 3rd year and he had a decent summer. Flip is a jerk. These guys are winning because they aren't practicing his stuff. They're winning off of hustle and skills.

Posted by: garrybrown | February 22, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Glad we won. Though, as much as I like Nick Young, he doesn't fit with this team. I believe he can be a real good player but it wont happen with the Wizards.

Somebody mentioned on the other post that McGee seem to look tired out there. Those bigger bodies been tossing McGee around and it's a good thing. He going to really want to hit the weight room over the summer and the only way he can see importance of lifting weights is by getting more playing time.

Posted by: demonj21 | February 22, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

These guys are winning because they aren't practicing his stuff. They're winning off of hustle and skills.

Posted by: garrybrown | February 22, 2010 9:59 PM

That's for sure, but I agree it's surprising NY couldnt stay on the court even with Howard down.

What hasnt changed for the team is that if either Mcgee or Young makes any dumb play, they are instantly benched for at least 10minutes

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

"Is there an update on Howard? I have been listing to the radio and so far no mention."

I don't think they would know until MRI is taken. X-ray can only shows fracture, but not ligament damage.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 22, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

@garrybrown,

Young still looks lost to me. If he dribbles more than a couple times the offense bogs down because he doesn't seem to know where the ball is supposed to go or how to attack the defense. Maybe he's a late-bloomer like Dray, but I'm not seeing anything that suggest he'd do appreciably more with more minutes.

Posted by: and_1 | February 22, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

So Blatche is officially a lock to be in the Wizards uniform for sometime now. We need to keep him around for a while.

Posted by: ATLredskin | February 22, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

the weakest link tonight was our PGs vs derrick rose..if only we had a pg who was a threat to drop 30....

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I just don't understand why Young can't get any pt? Is he that bad that he can't get in the game, even with all the new guys. Everybody wanted to cut/trade Blatche but as soon as he gets some consistent pt he's producing. I believe the same can be accomplished with Nick. If they're not going to use him, why not trade him. This is his 3rd year and he had a decent summer. Flip is a jerk. These guys are winning because they aren't practicing his stuff. They're winning off of hustle and skills


yes he is that bad. nick young SUCKS

Posted by: billy12 | February 22, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

EG is a genius

These WIZ's are 3-1 after the fire sale,
and they are now one of the best teams in the NBA,

Nobody will want to play these NEW WIZ's

Who are the EG guys,

Only EG knows,

keep doing your Magic EG

Posted by: nobody2 | February 22, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

"the weakest link tonight was our PGs vs derrick rose..if only we had a pg who was a threat to drop 30....

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse "

The weakest link actually is suspended for the season, and I'm not talking about Critt.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 22, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow great game!! Man it's great to see the way Blatche is stepping up! Singleton is exactly the type of player we have been lacking and needing. So is Thornton.

As of now this is the plan I would pursue from this point forward...

1. We need to build for doing everything we can to get Durant NEXT offseason (2011).

2. Move Arenas' contract anyway possible. Be it void, trade, buyout. Whatever we need to do to be done with it by next offseason (2011). (See step #1)

3. Keep Josh Howard. Keep restricted FA Randy Foye. Keep FAs Miller and Singleton.

4. Draft a center (Cousins, Aldrich, Monroe)... this is assuming we don't get the #1 (Wall). If we get Wall throw this one and the next(#5) out the window. Otherwise, center is the only position of concern with McGee, who I like but is just too inconsistant and mistake prone still at this point.

5. Sign FA Kyle Lowry, PG with the Rockets. He is a great fit for this squad, a young up coming true PG who passes and plays D. Entering his 5th season he's ready to be a starting PG in this league. We can give him the opportunity to start, we have his former college backcourt mate (Foye), and a major market.

C - Cousins/McGee
PF- Blatche/Singleton
SF- Thornton/Miller
SG- Howard/Young/Ross
PG- Lowry/Foye

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 22, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Mike, but you acquired the wrong guy for the job:

"Brown has been most irritated with Cleveland's defensive play, or lack of it, over the past few weeks. The Cavs have allowed an opponent to score at least 100 points in 17 games this year. Five of those have come in the last six games.

"The physicalness is not quite there. We haven't made our opponents feel us like we were doing early in the season," Brown said. "We can't have the mindset that we're going to outscore our opponents. If we do, then it could be a short season. For anybody, it would be a short season. Teams that do that don't win.""

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4937135

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 22, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

"EG is a genius

These WIZ's are 3-1 after the fire sale,
and they are now one of the best teams in the NBA,

Nobody will want to play these NEW WIZ's

Who are the EG guys,

Only EG knows,

keep doing your Magic EG

Posted by: nobody2 | February 22, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse "

Geniuses don't go to the lottery for 2 seasons.

...neither do they sign people to huge contracts only to trade them.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 22, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

"I just don't understand why Young can't get any pt? Is he that bad that he can't get in the game, even with all the new guys. Everybody wanted to cut/trade Blatche but as soon as he gets some consistent pt he's producing. I believe the same can be accomplished with Nick. If they're not going to use him, why not trade him. This is his 3rd year and he had a decent summer. Flip is a jerk. These guys are winning because they aren't practicing his stuff. They're winning off of hustle and skills


yes he is that bad. nick young SUCKS

Posted by: billy12 | February 22, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse "

The funniest thing about NY is not his lack of play on the court, but the fact that he was way overhyped when he was drafted as some sort of dunking phenom.

I have yet to see him throw down an impressive dunk.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 22, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Biggest differnce is the new guys actually play defense and hustle on both ends. They also stay within the context of the offense and move the ball around. It's a shame that Howard got hurt because he's a great fit at the 3 in Flip's offense. A front line of Blatche, Thornton, and Singleton looked very good against a bigger Chicago team. Very impressed with how Blatche has stepped up now that the vets are gone.

He's been the best big on the court since the trade in each game. Very good to see Foye actually has options to pass the ball and it moves around the horn to keep everyone involved. We actually got some nice low post moves from both AB and Thornton which never seemed to happen with Haywood or Jamision at the 4 and 5.

I like the energy, effort and hustle from the replacements. They may only keep Thornton out of this group for next year, but watching them play hard is much more enjoyable as a fan.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 22, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Mike Brown serves at the pleasure of the King. Getting AJ was Lebron's call and if it blows up in their faces, it's Lebron's fault 'cause AJ is gonna do what he do.

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Brown eased Jamison into the rotation by bringing him off the bench the first two games. Now he is leaning toward starting the two-time All-Star Tuesday against New Orleans.

Jamison started the second half of Cleveland’s 101-95 loss to Orlando on Sunday, finishing with 19 points and eight rebounds. He is still adjusting to the Cavaliers’ after a dreary stay in Washington, where Gilbert Arenas’(notes) suspension and the constant losing wore down the spirit of the team.

“When you come from a losing team, something wasn’t right,” he said. “You have to erase all of that and start over from scratch. There are some bad habits I incorporated. What I’ve known for the last 50-some games, you have to throw it out the window and get accustomed to what we do here.”

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=ArLb6dIKL2e7lkSJjrp7qyS8vLYF?slug=ap-slumping-cavaliers&prov=ap&type=lgns

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 22, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Also

I like Kansas PG Sharron Collins with our 2nd 1st round pick (from Cleveland)

Our 2nd round pick I like Trevor Booker Forward from Clemson.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 22, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Nice recovery from the Howard injury and the first half deficit. It wasn't pretty seeing the 4th quarter lead go down, but this team got the job done. They keep fighting. Great game for Blatche too.

Posted by: JPRS | February 22, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I wish we had this team from the very beginning. James Singleton is pretty much awesome. He's very valuble to this team. I really hope Howard's fine. Sucks he went down, he was playing well in the first quarter. Ross has a nice mid range jumper. Thornton sometimes forgets when the shotclock is about to expire... but I like what I see from him.

I can't wait for Wednesday's game!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 22, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

why y'all focusing on AJ and the Cavs when we are now 3 outta 4!

AB is lookin like the real deal, he is playing hard and he can score+defend on any PF in the league.

I tells you what, this team as-is looks like a borderline .500 squad, add Gil and you have 5th-ish seed (in the east)

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

You guys don't understand what a job EG has done:

EG is a genius

These WIZ's are 3-1 after the fire sale,
and they are now one of the best teams in the NBA,

Nobody will want to play these NEW WIZ's

Who are the EG guys,

Only EG knows,

keep doing your Magic EG

Posted by: nobody2 | February 22, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Too bad about Josh Howard's knee. He's going to be out awhile I think.

That reduces the Wizards to eleven effective players.

Gotta get those buyouts done, and find more aggressive, hungry, high basketball IQ players.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 22, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Not to take a shot at Caron, Antawn, and Brendan, but this new team has scored 100+ points four consecutive games for the first time this year. That is not a coincidence.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 22, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

"Too bad about Josh Howard's knee. He's going to be out awhile I think.

That reduces the Wizards to eleven effective players.

Gotta get those buyouts done, and find more aggressive, hungry, high basketball IQ players.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 22, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse "

The curse strikes again.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 22, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Not to take a shot at Caron, Antawn, and Brendan, but this new team has scored 100+ points four consecutive games for the first time this year. That is not a coincidence.

Posted by: rachel216

they've also held opponents under 100 in 3 outta 4...guess we didnt lose anything defensively

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

the most obvious indicator of just how much better this team is than the pre-trades team is the degree to which Mike Miller no longer looks like a special player. With everybody playing D and passing the ball, suddenly he looks like a role player rather than the most important player on the floor.

That's not a knock on him, it's an observation of just how much better we became overnight.

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the draft, i'm on the Al-Farouq Aminu bandwagon (thats if Josh Howard goes). At first I wanted a big man, but seeing how we have McGee and Blatche holding the fort I wouldn't mind aiming for a guard unless Foye can become more consistent. Either way if someone slips, we jump on em.

Posted by: ATLredskin | February 22, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Nice win. Thornton looks like a real find, esp. at his price. Singleton looks like he might be worth keeping (again, price depending). Josh Howard is hurt? What a shock.

As for old business . . . between them, Young and McGee appear to have zero bball IQ. Young's affinity for dribbling himself into trouble actually appears to be getting worse.

Two days after almost launching himself into low Earth orbit on a pump fake by Rasho-flippin-Nesterovic 18 feet from the basket, resulting in a wide open jumpsuit, McGee does the exact same thing on a Brad Miller pump fake (and not an esp. good one) a foot behind the 3-point line, resulting in (wait for it) a wide open jumpshot. And then there are all the horrifically bad shot choices (including the time he drove the lane and attempted to shoot the ball from behind the backboard).

Both guys have great physical talent but don't have a clue how to operate as part of a team. McGee at least has the advantage of being so long and explosive that he manages to stumble his way into some positive plays. But Young appears to be in a total fog. I really can't see him being a preferred starter on a good team.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

"the most obvious indicator of just how much better this team is than the pre-trades team is the degree to which Mike Miller no longer looks like a special player. With everybody playing D and passing the ball, suddenly he looks like a role player rather than the most important player on the floor."

He was always a role player. Anyone who thought he was more than that was grasping at straws. The only difference is that with the total team makeover, his role has changed. And, as he showed last season in Denver, that facilitator role doesn't play quite as well on a team full of young up and comers as it does on a team with seasoned-vets who command a lot of defensive attention.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

"That's not a knock on him, it's an observation of just how much better we became overnight. "

I actually think it's somewhat the opposite. His role has gotten more difficult because, at least in the eyes of opposing coaches, the team around him is actually worse now.

The defensive attention that opponents gave to Arenas, Jamison, and Butler allowed Miller to roam the floor and exploit openings in order to drive into the seams of the defense. When the defense rotated to him late as he drove toward the basket that, in turn, created open passing lanes he could exploit. But now that he's playing with a bunch of guys that opposing defenses don't know and/or respect, he's all of a sudden the focus of more defensive attention himself, resulting in him having less room to roam, and thus fewer openings.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Al Thornton sucks people. He is exactly what he has been cracked up to be....a black hole. This guy only looks for his shot, and has no basketball IQ. Tonight he puts up 17 shots, with ZERO assists. That doesn't make anyone else better.

I do however like the rest of the guys EG traded for. Much better fit, and fun to watch.

Posted by: Roman5 | February 22, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

"And then there are all the horrifically bad shot choices (including the time he drove the lane and attempted to shoot the ball from behind the backboard)."

He took a total of 4 shots and made 2. Yes, all the dumb plays are there but so are the myriad of shots altered inside as well as a point blank block at the rim tonight and almost constant hustle.

This season is lost, let the kid play through the mistakes. Better now than when we're in contention for a postseason spot

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

"I actually think it's somewhat the opposite."

At what point is it determined the current team is better than the one before the trades? I think it's obvious already, this team is legit (meaning a .500 or so squad).

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

"Al Thornton sucks people. He is exactly what he has been cracked up to be....a black hole. This guy only looks for his shot, and has no basketball IQ. Tonight he puts up 17 shots, with ZERO assists. That doesn't make anyone else better."

Not every player needs to make every other player better. Some guys are just scorers. That's hardly a bad thing. Is he a max guy that you'd build a contending team around? Of course not. But for a guy set to make a total of about $6.5 mil over the next two years, he's a nice weapon to have.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

the teams the wiz have played so far may be looking at them and thinking CBA team. most of these guys have been short minute players and now they've been given time on the court and are if nothing else outhustling their opponents. a few more games the way they are playing will make other teams take notice and not overlook them. that's when you can truly see what they are. will they continue to surprise teams with their hustle or will teams up their energy level. can this wizard team play any harder will be the determining factor as to how this will play out. right now it's fun to watch. to beat this team you are going to have to play hard. they are no longer a pushover, veteran laden team thinking that they are entitled to a whistle, or that their opponent is just going to lay down for them. right now what i think i see is other teams underestimating them. it won't last forever.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 22, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

right now what i think i see is other teams underestimating them. it won't last forever.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 22, 2010 11:12 PM

the reason i dont buy that is because there comes a point in the 4th quarter when the game is on the line and nobody is underestimating anything. I didnt see anything tonight to indicate the Bulls thought they'd win "just because." They lost because we played better D and out-hustled them when it counted.

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"He took a total of 4 shots and made 2.

And at least one of the two he actually made was a terrible shot. The fact that he only took a few bad shots doesn't make them any less bad.

"This season is lost, let the kid play through the mistakes. "

Not blocking out on a rebound or losing sight of the shot clock are mistakes. The wobbly bricks he hurls at the basket aren't something you can "play through." He either needs to (A) stop shooting or (B) learn the difference between a good shot and a bad one (and learn how to take the former). All the PT in the world won't correct that if he doesn't make some effort/have the ability to figure out the difference.

"At what point is it determined the current team is better than the one before the trades? I think it's obvious already, this team is legit (meaning a .500 or so squad)."

I think that's pure fannish dreaming, but whatever.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"Why isn't McGee playing and why isn't Miller shooting the ball?"

Well, I can't say I'm surprised by your ignorance of his game or history, since it was only a couple months ago that you were (quite comically) pimping him as an up and coming "next Larry Bird" before having it brought to your attention that he was already a 10-year pro. So here's the abridged version of the story.

Despite his shooting prowess MM has never been a Reggie Miller-style gunner, and in recent years he has become a reluctant shooter who's more interested in setting guys up than looking for his own shot. He was criticized in Minnesota and somewhat in Memphis for not being more aggressive offensively when their big stars (Gasol and Jefferson) went down. It's simply not in his nature to have eyes only for the rim. Nothing he's doing here should come as any surprise to anyone who has paid passing attention to his recent career.

That, of course, excludes you.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

pretty harsh words for a player shooting 49% for the season and 53% for Feb.

"I think that's pure fannish dreaming, but whatever.

Posted by: kalo_rama"

That's cool, but until they start losing 6 out of 10 they are a better team than the pre-trade debacle squad.

btw, AB went for 25/11 tonight

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

"Nothing he's doing here should come as any surprise to anyone who has paid passing attention to his recent career."

yup, and by season's end the sentiment that we MUST re-sign him will be long gone

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

@divi3
and that's what makes watching this team fun. they actually imposed their will on the bulls. my point being, some where down the line they will need to step it up another notch and that's the unknown.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 22, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Kalo is on the mark. Personally, I think the GMs who traded MM were dumb. He's not an explosive high-volume scorer, but he helps a team in a lot of ways. He spreads the floor, he's a smart passer, he defends adequately and hits the boards hard. He gets a lot of deflections and goes after loose balls. If I were Ernie, MM would be one guy that I'd definitely try to re-sign. He's probably going to be very affordable, too.

And man, I just love the way Blatche is playing. Whatever Flip is doing to motivate and focus him, it's obviously working.
There's no reason he can't be a consistent 20 and 10 guy.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | February 22, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

The only thing the past four games has proven to me is how far the last group had fallen bc the talent level isn't even close. But, flat out hustle all over the court has this less talented team looking much better. The level of under achieving before was sad.

I remember posting at the beginning of the season that AB should have remained the starter when Jamison returned bc he has always played better when starting. He is proving it once again. Not to mention he is a far better defender than Jamison, which we all know is not too difficult to do. And, although he has been somewhat of a knucklehead in his personal life (somewhat understandable as he is/was very young), he has always shown a fairly high basketball IQ. Compared to NY and JM he would be an Einstein.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 22, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I guess DCman didn't see Nick throw down on Queen James

m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=4chIBSAhx0w

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 22, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

mike miller needs to take anywhere from 8-12 shots a game, all in the flow of the game, not just jackin' up shots. he's too good a shooter to only be taking 5 or 6. he's almost unselfish to a fault. i do like his playmaking ability, moving the ball around, he just needs to call his own number a few more times.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 22, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

"The funniest thing about NY is not his lack of play on the court, but the fact that he was way overhyped when he was drafted as some sort of dunking phenom.

I have yet to see him throw down an impressive dunk.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 22, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse "


Yet again you use this board to spew your biases without any factual evidence. #1 he dunks on LEBRON, #2 is a sweet baseline reverse, and #3 IS A 360 BEHIND THE BACK DUNK! He may be a disappointment overall, but the man can throw it down with the best.


1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j4HCNu2gbc

2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d76FUbPztE

3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdTh1RPIVAU

Posted by: dfresh58 | February 23, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

DCMANN, never seen you write anything positive.....ever. Do you hate in your sleep?

Posted by: dfresh58 | February 23, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

NY not playing is probably not an indictment on any coach as he is just a very low IQ player. He's had 3 coaches now and none of them has relied on him for much of anything for more than a few games at a time and usually it's due to injury. His bb IQ is so low, that he can't even accentuate what he does well on the court enough to stay in the game. He was drafted as a late round flier to be an instant offense type guy off the bench regardless of the negatives in his draft profile bc that is what the team needed at the time. Well, he has shown he can do that on occasion, but lacks any consistency whatsoever.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 23, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

@Joe,

Well, at all the MM comments in general. I live in Minneapolis now and was when he played here. He was the best player wing player on the team here and did much the same thing you see on the Wiz. A refusal to take shots although he is probably the best 3 pt shooter in the league over the last few seasons and one of the best shooters period. The thing that bothers me is that if he is so coachable, why doesn't the coach have set plays for him to get at least 5/6/7 3 pt shots a game. Consistently! If the play is guarded, run it enough to get those shots eventually. Plus, you can use that to get others good looks. For example, a guy runs at him to stop his attempt then he obviously is good enough to swing the ball and get another a wide open shot. But, that should be a staple of this team not an anomaly or a couple of times a game thing. Much like AB in the low left block is already becoming a staple for the second half of the season. It's called a team identity. Something the previous players sorely lacked.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 23, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

It's occurred to me recently that the bad habits the last group had probably originated from the EJ years and it finally caught up to them. Yeah, it was successful for a while, but not an example for great team basketball. And that is a lot of jacked up shots by the PG or AJ operating on an island or CB operating on an island. When one or two of those players were "on" as they often were a few years ago, it worked and the back door passes opened up etc etc and wins started piling up as well. But, the "Princeton" offense that EJ supposedly preached here never really was purely that offense. Sacramento, back in their heyday ran that offense much better than we ever did and their assist totals were outstanding. When our top players started breaking down or this year when they were finally back together, but not in peak form, the "habits" they had eventually undid them as a real NBA offense of set plays and passing was no longer part of their basketball DNA. I've watched all three for periods since they left and nothing has changed still. AJ actually has referred to acquired "bad habits" since he left and I think this is some of what he was referring to.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 23, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

it just seems to me that his unselfisness is his weakeness. i don't know if you can coach a player into taking his open shots. i love his abilities, i would like to see him use the shot more. i remember the game when he was with memphis and he lit up the wizards for over thirty, just dropping three's on them. i know the shot is there, i just don't understand why he doesn't use it more. he defers to the pass here and apparently at other stops he's had around the league, maybe that's what the coach wants, but when you are open you should take the shot. he was wide open tonight and passed the ball to singleton and he took the three. miller has a much better three point shot is all i'm saying. sometimes he should take that shot. maybe he just can't do it.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 23, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

@Kal,

I have to agree with about MM. He is a nice player, but only for the right price especially considering his reluctance to shoot the damn ball. 11 million for a great shooter who refuses to shoot is a terrible contract. 4/5 million might be reasonable, but as you point out if we have to overpay him to stay that would be a huge mistake. Don't think EG will go that route and we, the fans, might not be so keen on him by the end of the season anyway. Same thing happened in Memphis and MN as both you and I have pointed out.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 23, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Guys enough with the NY bashing.
He has the same potential as AB.
I maintain that every team has at least 10 players that if given 30 minutes or more, could excel.
NY when given 30 minutes or more would average over 20, as he has done, and would meld into the flow the same has AB has done.
He remains a very talented though enigmatic performer, just like most other talented players, who are not given at least a fair shot at getting into the flow.
JM also needs court time, and not just cursory starting time for 5 minutes.
There are very few youngins who could play minimal minutes, not getting acclimated, and still shine.
I have not had the pleasure of seeing the new look Wiz, as I am in Boca Raton for the winter.
I love what appears to be the instant rejuvenation of a moribund franchise.
The Wiz are now in excellent position to make fast and successful transformation to a young and athletic, exciting team.
Please grow up and stop dissing the youngsters who have not had the luxury of extended ooportunity to grow and develop confidence and their game.

Posted by: mricklen | February 23, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

I agree with another poster who said the team is winning because they can't practice. They haven't learn to play the Flip way. Wiz remind me of the Vikings. They're winning inspite of their coach. Don't let this team practice Flip's crap.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | February 23, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

To the poster above who said James Singleton reminds of Popeye Jones... Both men played in college at Murray State and both are the kind of overachievers you have to like have on your team.

Posted by: khrabb | February 23, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Did anybody catch Flip's comments where he attributed the inspired play of Blatche and McGee to the new guys bringing in their hustle and the contagiousness has caused Blatche and McGee to play well also.

Is this not an odd?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 23, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

@Kal,

I have to agree with about MM. He is a nice player, but only for the right price especially considering his reluctance to shoot the damn ball. 11 million for a great shooter who refuses to shoot is a terrible contract. 4/5 million might be reasonable, but as you point out if we have to overpay him to stay that would be a huge mistake. Don't think EG will go that route and we, the fans, might not be so keen on him by the end of the season anyway. Same thing happened in Memphis and MN as both you and I have pointed out.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 23, 2010 12:47 AM

Before the trade deadline, reports said the Wiz were not interested in moving Miller, which may mean they think he is worth trying to resign him in the offseason.

He did not shoot much last night, but got two threes and also had 4 rebounds and 5 assists. He kept the ball moving when the Wizards only had 19 assists, mostly because Foye also had 9. Nobody else had more than 2.

I would like to see him shoot more also, but he is probably more valuable than he is given credit for.

Posted by: cannontl | February 23, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

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