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Celtics (29-16) at Wizards (16-30) [UPDATED]

Wizards starters: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood

Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Line: Celtics by 5

Gilbert Arenas wrote an Op-ed in the Washington Post that will run in Tuesday's paper in which he apologizes to fans of the District, especially the children, for bringing guns into the Verizon Center last December. Arenas writes that he "reacted badly" in the aftermath and damaged the image of the NBA.

That message of nonviolence will be front and center as I try to rebuild my relationship with young people in the D.C. area. I know that won't happen overnight, and that it will happen only if I show through my actions that I am truly sorry and have learned from my mistakes. If I do that, then hopefully youngsters will learn from the serious mistakes I made with guns and not make any of their own.

Before the game, Coach Flip Saunders said he understood why Arenas wrote the article. "From talking to him. I think he understands the seriousness of what he did and his situation and trying to say now that he's trying to let people know, the kids especially, that he has done something wrong and trying to take what was really a negative and somehow have a positive impact."

When asked if he thought it would be better for Arenas to stay silent, Saunders said, "I think you have do what your heart feels. If he wants to be active in the community and help kids, he should say something. That's something he has to deal with what he feels in his heart."

The Wizards' second unit has been critical to their success the past two games, with the bench contributing 72 of the team's 187 points in wins over New Jersey and New York. Earl Boykins hit the game-winning jumper with 0.4 of a second remaining in New Jersey, and Andray Blatche has scored a combined 24 points against the Nets and Knicks. Nick Young has also scored in double-figures in consecutive games for the first time since early January.

Blatche said that Saunders's commitment to keeping the reserves on the floor and helping them maintain their rhythm has been the difference. "I noticed that the last couple of games, the harder me and Nick played, we were out there a lot longer," he said. "Me and Nick are going to do our part, we're going to come out with energy, and be aggressive on defense and offense. I feel we're going to come out and do a good job tonight."

With the exception one miserable afternoon against the Los Angeles Clippers, Blatche has been playing some his best basketball of the season in recent weeks. He has scored in double figures in four of the past five games, including a 19-point, 11-rebound effort in a loss to the Miami Heat. In his past three games, Blatche is averaging 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds.

"Since he was suspended, he's come with pretty good energy," Saunders said. "His attitude has been good. That was 2 ½, 3 weeks ago [when Blatche was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team after a game against New Orleans]. He's had great energy in our practices. He's carried that over into games. It'll be a good test for him. They're always going to have two bigs on the floor all the time. he's got a challenge of being able to play against bigs inside but also play bigs on the perimeter."

The Celtics have lost three in a row and eight of their past 12 overall.

Before the game, Celtics Coach Doc Rivers was asked about the trade rumors involving the Wizards - Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler, in particular. He joked that he would support a roster shakeup between now and Feb. 18.

"I think they should get rid of all those guys, personally," Rivers said with a laugh. "I think it would be terrific. I'm the first to say, 'Move Jamison as quickly as you can and Caron. That would be absolutely fantastic for all of us in the East. There's a lot of talk right now because the trade deadline is coming up. I don't ever think there's going to be a lot done. I just think the contracts - they don't help at all. But i wouldn't be surprised to see them do some change."

Rivers started walking away, started laughing and said, "But I am on board. Trade 'em. Trade 'em. Move 'em tonight."

By Michael Lee  |  February 1, 2010; 6:19 PM ET
 
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Next: Celtics 99, Wizards 88

Comments

Wiz win on their way to the playoffs

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 1, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Suspended Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas(notes) says in an op-ed piece written for The Washington Post that he now understands “guns and violence are serious problems, not joking matters.”

The piece was posted on the newspaper’s Web site Monday.

Arenas pledges to be a better role model and says a “message of nonviolence will be front and center as I try to rebuild my relationship with young people.”

He says he gave NBA commissioner David Stern reason to give him a season-ending suspension for bringing guns into the locker room and for making light of the situation. Arenas acknowledges he damaged “the image of the NBA and its players.”

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 1, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Flip ought to invest in a new line of suits. He has to be one of the most ill-clad looking coaches in the NBA.

His suits are solemn and sad looking. Just like the look on his face always is.

He needs to brighten his attire up a bit, get a bit more dapper, if you know what I mean.

Can't hurt none, a new look might just inspire the team instead of that confused look of disarray he is always giving on the sidelines.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 1, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Nice 4th quarter, Wizards.

Why I keep paying attention to this team, I don't have a clue.

What a poor effort in the 4th quarter. Jamison was hurting the team attempting that many field goals and not making any. What's the point of playing well for 3 quarters and then not even playing in the 4th? Blow this team up.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 1, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

They played one of the best teams in the league very tough so there is hope for next year. I am back on the bandwagon. Let's keep the roster intact and hope again. One of the first actions should take is to extend Gil so he doesnt't walk 4 years from now. Just trade the high 1st round pick for veterans and let's give it one more go!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | February 1, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Jamison cost us the game...those wack shots just didnt fall and his outside shot was weak....no plays for miller either...we need another pg...maybe gil, but who knows

Posted by: BurgwithaU | February 1, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

What will be more surprising? that Arenas will not play for the Wizards again or that he will play for them again.

Wow.

How can they make any significant trades with that question hanging over the franchise?

Posted by: SteveMG | February 1, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Jamison's numbers are always misleading.
He's a bum in the fourth quarter and takes some of the DUMBEST shots known to mankind.
As many of you have noted, he is a decent sixth man but nothing more.

Posted by: and_1 | February 1, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

For the past year I've noticed that without GILBERT, we have no shooters who can knock down open shots in the fourth.

Same story tonight. JAMISON and BUTLER clanging rims when the chips were down, meanwhile the Celtics buried everything they put up late. We need new go to guys who can shoot.

And BOYKINS and MILLER turned the ball over in two critical situations. In MILLER's case, it was off a deflection, but BOYKINS driving the lane late, plueeze.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 1, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

It's just that he took how many shots in the 4th?!! When you're struggling that badly and your shot is obviously not falling, WHY do you keep shooting?!!! I love Jamison but he was just so awful in the 4th. Also factor in that Tawn was getting increasingly angry with the refs...Flip should've just sat him down.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 1, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Just don't understand how they just fizzled in the 4thQ. Something's wrong. Other than all the obvious things we all have been bantering about, there is something else amiss.

Maybe they should not have beaten Boston, but you can just fizzle and go away in the Money Q'.

LarryInClintonMD.

What is it?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 1, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what the deal with Butler is but he's just really off. Does he not fit this offense or is he playing out of position? He made some big shots tonight but most of the time he's indecisive and that leads to a bunch of turnovers.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 1, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

2-17 from the field for Jamison. I could have sworn he went 0-17. My bad!

Posted by: and_1 | February 1, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Ya'll but I have to go on a rant. Flip is the sole reason the Wizards lost tonight. Playing Bokins the whole 4th quarter was just plan stupid. It was obvious that he was ineffectvie down the stretch and he stuck with him any way. I know Randy Foye was on the bench like what is wrong with this dude. Flip is a terrible coach....The Wizards were primed to win this game. Flip took it way from them tonight. I really can't believe he never took Boykins out the game. Wow...I mean I seen some bad coach ing before. But this was a no brainer right here. Wes Unseld would not even made such a bad decision and he was the worst coach ever. I can't see Flip finishing his contract here at all. The Wizards look like they are ready to make a move but the Coach is in the way.

Posted by: lemekdivine | February 1, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Ya'll but I have to go on a rant. Flip is the sole reason the Wizards lost tonight. Playing Bokins the whole 4th quarter was just plan stupid. It was obvious that he was ineffectvie down the stretch and he stuck with him any way. I know Randy Foye was on the bench like what is wrong with this dude. Flip is a terrible coach....The Wizards were primed to win this game. Flip took it way from them tonight. I really can't believe he never took Boykins out the game. Wow...I mean I seen some bad coach ing before. But this was a no brainer right here. Wes Unseld would not even made such a bad decision and he was the worst coach ever. I can't see Flip finishing his contract here at all. The Wizards look like they are ready to make a move but the Coach is in the way.

Posted by: lemekdivine | February 1, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Quick Antawn, try to figure out a way to blame your 2 for 17 on Gilbert.

Posted by: bryc3 | February 1, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Jamison will blame his bad night on the young guys, Blatche and Young!

Posted by: and_1 | February 1, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I can live with Jamison having a bad game. It happen from time to time. I was mad to see him go to tghe basket so weak. But Boykins was useless in the 4th quarter. From what I remember Foye was playing pretty good. Did Flip forget he was on the team or something?

Posted by: lemekdivine | February 1, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I can live with Jamison having a bad game. It happen from time to time. I was mad to see him go to tghe basket so weak. But Boykins was useless in the 4th quarter. From what I remember Foye was playing pretty good. Did Flip forget he was on the team or something?

Posted by: lemekdivine | February 1, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I've said it time and time again, you have to be about winning. Decisions made like playing Boykins as noted above and taking Haywoods minutes to allow Blatche to play center when we know that Blatche is a forward.

I just don't get it. Haywood, not the best 7-footer in the NBA, but yet he has been a solid performer all year.

It makes no difference that he may not resign and they may want to trade him, but you have to be about winning.

When you play to win, and your players know that is the bottom line, it builds a winning environment.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 1, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry All

We have to accept the fact that AJ is old and Caron is getting older. I posted in a blog earlier last week that we need to trade CB,AJ and BTH now before any of them get hurt and while we can get some value. The more these guys play,the worst they will look. Can we also stop proclaiming J. Mcgee a Stud/Superstar? We have had 3 coaches that can't manage to find a way to get him off the bench. I don't care what you all say about management,If my job is on the line (Ernie G)I,m forcing flip to play him.

Posted by: specialg7master | February 1, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Where's Juan Carlons Navarro when you need him?

Les BouleS could be having La Bamba and Ricky Rubio right now manning the backcourt!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 1, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

bryc3 & and_1

You don't Mr. "I" will man up and say he is the problem?

See what happens when AJ has to play a real PF.

What a joke and people on here wonder why other teams aren't offering good deals for this guy.

If Ernie was the GM of the Nets the Wizards could trade AJ to them for Harris, Lopez and thier 1st pick this year.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 1, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

their...sorry

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 1, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I realize Boykin has delivered in a handful of games. Still in the crunch against a team like Boston, I'd probably rather have a fresh Randy Foye than a gassed Earl Boykins.

17 minutes to 30 minutes. That's friggen ridiculous. I realize Boykin gave the team a spark in the 2nd quarter, but he was pretty much done by the 4th.

Posted by: JPRS | February 1, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

... Can we also stop proclaiming J. Mcgee a Stud/Superstar? We have had 3 coaches that can't manage to find a way to get him off the bench. I don't care what you all say about management,If my job is on the line (Ernie G)I,m forcing flip to play him.

Posted by: specialg7master | February 1, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm no coach, but from what I've seen McGee play enough to know that he's a better ball player than Oberto. There is no way the big O should be playing before McGee.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | February 1, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

33dgriffin

Come on now, Oberto was Ernie's guy as soon as Detroit release him...he's the man?

What does that tell you about Ernie?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 1, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Flip may have some grand master plan, but if he does it is a cruel one. Injuries slapped him around at the beginning of the season, but we have been limping all year.

I can't see what he is doing. Hope Ernie can explain it to Ted.

If he can't they are hopefully both outa' here.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 1, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Great job again by Jamison. He NEVER cheats the fans and gives 110% everynight.

I understand if we have to trade him but I hope we don't. He is the opposite of Arenas.

Again Great job Antwan..and Miller and the entire team last night!

Hopefully we can at least compete with Boston and maybe find a way to get a win!

Posted by: kevenjones | January 31, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Again Great job Antwan...wait you didn't get to play against Jared Jeffries tonight?

My Bad!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

it's funny that AJ can pull down 23boards in a win and still get gruff from fans....about what exactly? Being almost the only player on the roster still working his butt off every night? What a selfish guy!


Posted by: divi3 | January 31, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I tried to tell you one game doesn't make a career...see what happens when he has to play against a real power forward?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

divi3

The Wizards need an extreme makeover.

Just like you don't rebuild a house on a bad foundation, you don't try to rebuild a team with players who have proven they can't win in the NBA.

That goes for the rest of the organization.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 31, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Retooling and tweaking isn't going to matter. This team is fundamentally flawed, and trying to build on a flawed foundation only results in a structure that's likely to collapse from instability.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 1, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Looks like kal is stealing my posts again...at least you are learning

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 2, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mike, any truth to the rumor Pollin family is trying to get out of selling to Ted Leonsis because they caught wind that he intends to return the team name back to Washington Bullets??

Man it is so difficult to figure out what this team should do as far as trades without knowing the outcome of Arenas and whether or not he will return here...

IMO the problem with the team is too many jumpshooters, too many similar players. The 2 most important positions in the game are PG and PF and we have neither. We have SGs at the point (Arenas or Foye), and we have SFs at PF (Jamison or Blatche).

We need to bring in a true pass-first PG and/or a true low-post PF, especially if dealing someone like Caron.

I would be interested in seeing McGee at PF. I think his athleticism, length, shot-blocking, agility and ability to run would be tough for teams to deal with at PF next to Haywood. I think his problem at center so far is lack of strength, but he has good strength for a forward, and I think he as the quickness and ability to help us at the 4. He could be a matchup nightmare.


In general, I'd like to keep Jamison, Miller, Haywood, Foye, and possibly Blatche and McGee.

I'd think hard about speculated deals such as Butler to Rockets for cap space, Lowry and Landry. Jamison to Cavs for cap space, Hickson and draft pick. Again it all comes down to are we rebuilding or not, is Arenas coming back here next season or not.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 2, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

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