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Grizzlies (28-28) at Wizards (20-34)

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

Grizzlies starters: Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol.
Inactives: Ronnie Brewer, Lester Hudson, Steven Hunter.

Line: Grizzlies by 1.

The Wizards look to continue what Coach Flip Saunders called their best four-game stretch of the season against a Grizzlies team that is coming off a 99-98 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers last night. In addition to playing the second game in as many nights, Memphis will be playing its third game in four days.

Since a series of moves during and immediately following the all-star break allowed the Wizards to part ways with Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood, among others, Washington is 3-1, including victories over Denver and most recently Chicago, 101-95, on Monday.

The WIzards will be without the featured acquisition from those moves after starting guard Josh Howard tore the ACL in his left knee in the first quarter against Chicago. Howard had been averaging 17 points and four rebounds per game over his first three with Washington after coming to the team from Dallas.

With Howard done for the season, the Wizards added Mike Harris, who played two games with Houston this season and has been excelling in the NBA's developmental league.

"One thing I told [Harris] is I don't want him to try to fit in with what we're doing. I want him to do the things that he does," Saunders said during his pregame talk with the media. "But he fits in now with what we do, with this type of team. He plays hard, plays with reckless abandon, a very aggressive player."

A matchup to watch will be Blatche against Randolph, an all-star who is averaging 20.4 points per game. He's also third in the league in rebounding (11.8 per game) and on pace to break the franchise single-season record in that category.

Blatche "is going against an all-star player and a very unique and unorthodox player in how [Randolph] scores and the things that he does," Saunders said. "But I think what [Blatche] can't do is he can't change how he plays. He can't all of a sudden try to change the things he's doing offensively because he's playing somebody like that. He's got to exert his will and get to the spots he wants to get. He's got to determine the shots he wants to take. He's got to make the defense react to what he does."

Blatche has led the Wizards in scoring in each of the past four game, averaging 25 points and 10.3 rebounds.

The Wizards have scored at least 100 points in four consecutive games. Their last such run came last season from March 29 to April 4. The last time Washington scored in triple digits in five straight was Dec. 1 to Dec. 7, 2007, when they did it six games in a row.

Washington has lost three straight games to Memphis, which is trying to catch Portland for the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs. The Wizards have not beaten the Grizzlies since Jan. 25, 2008.

"We can't worry about how they are," Saunders said of the Grizzlies' mind-set after last night's loss in the final seconds. "What we have to do is we have to put doubt in their heads from the standpoint of just playing hard enough that they look at us and say, 'Boy, this is really going to be hard tonight. Do we really want to pay that price and play that hard?'"

By Gene Wang  |  February 24, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards-Grizzlies postgame wrapup

Comments

"One thing I told [Harris] is I don't want him to try to fit in with what we're doing. I want him to do the things that he does,"

Sit the bench?

Maybe he pulls a Boykins, who knows?

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 24, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

no goofball smile on that one! facial on a seven foot terrorist (i kid) that was for my homie who asked about NY and his dunking ability.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 24, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is beasting again but somebody else is going to have to come up big in the second half. Who's it going to be??

Posted by: and_1 | February 24, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Oberto is beasting! LOL

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 24, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

i just don't understand mike miller....

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 24, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Mike Miller is married to Tim Donaghey's god-daughter, he's in on the game fixing/pointshaving scheme.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 24, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Mike Miller MUST LEARN TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE! He's toooo passive!

Posted by: rf2litenva | February 24, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, Marc Gasol pretty much ate JaTravel's breakfast, lunch, and dinner early on and clearly showed that JaStringbean has no ability to defend on the low post and does not have any semblance of a half court offensive game to allow him to stay on the court.

JaStringbean was pretty much a liability and had to be pulled for Oberto. Terrible.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

the best thing mike miller has going for him is that his name is not Nick Young. NY would spend the next 5 games in street clothes if he was turnin it over like MM is. And a sidenote, how classy was that of comcast to run 20 camera angles of DH blowing out his knee?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 24, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Not enough horses!

Posted by: and_1 | February 24, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

@DCMAN_88

nah he didn't have to be pulled for the whole rest of the game. flip was frustrated and punished JM. in doing that i think he lost sight of the big picture. there's value in having JM in the game. everyone knew JM would have trouble with the heavies from mem. I think Gasol had a 30 pt gm this season, he can get off given the right matchup. the best thing JM can do is take the film of this game and put it on repeat on the plasma in the weight room. remember guys the grizz hung real tough with the lakers last night and are playing with the same starting 5 that began the season. I fux wit u DCMAn but you were fairly quiet after the first 2 gms. the wiz just didn't bring the intensity tonight, too many jumpers, uncontested layups . in the 2 wins the wiz scored 100+ and allowed -100 in the two losses it has been the opposite.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 24, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, Marc Gasol pretty much ate JaTravel's breakfast, lunch, and dinner early on and clearly showed that JaStringbean has no ability to defend on the low post and does not have any semblance of a half court offensive game to allow him to stay on the court.

JaStringbean was pretty much a liability and had to be pulled for Oberto. Terrible.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse


Not playing JaVale was a liability. Flip didn't have enough height on the floor. Blatche has played much better at power forward, but Flip stuck him at center most of the 3rd quarter and I think he only had 2 points during that period. Flip should have stuck with McGee.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | February 24, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Boykins had the worst +/- of anyone on the court tonight at -11. Is Mike James really that bad?

Posted by: and_1 | February 24, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

lost by 5 to memphis...not that big a deal. memphis has been playing good ball. JaVale was definitly over-matched tonight.. he will be many nights, but the only way he's going to figure it out is to get banged up. good learning experience for him.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 24, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

If you recall, Marc Gasol bounced McGee around the court at will last season, too. Big thick guys are a problem for the young player.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

couple things:

1)LETHARGY

2)Singleton is a KEEPER for sure.

3)Flip still kinda sucks

4)So do Boykins and Foye

4)Thank goodness Gil's coming back next year

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Gasol was able to pretty much post up as deep in the paint as he wanted tonight en route to shooting 90% from the field. JaVale has got to learn to do his work early to keep guys from getting to their spots.

Posted by: and_1 | February 24, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess this settles the argument from the last Wiz/Grizz game about whether McGee (who did not play) would have done a better job against Gasol (who had 20 and 11 on 8-12 shooting) than Haywood, or Blatche as backup C. The answer, of course, (as I said at the time) is a resounding "NO!"


"Not playing JaVale was a liability. Flip didn't have enough height on the floor. "

Tall does not equal effective. McGee has zero offensive ability, so his primary value has to be defense and rebounding. If he's not doing those things, he's worthless, and he wasn't doing them against Gasol, who scored on his height like he was playing against a one-legged pygmy.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

somebody said something about lethargic...maybe memphis was just that much better than them. they played pretty hard in stretches, maybe memphis' talent level was a bit higher and it just showed.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 24, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

5)All Day Dray is for real, at least PF is solidified going forward.

6)Mike Miller plays like someone slipped him a roofie

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I think teams have figured Miller out. Both the Grizzlies and Raptors picked off a number of his passes by jumping the passing line when Miller dribbled into the paint and looked to dish off. They know he's looking to pass off penetration rather than score and are taking advantage of it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

somebody said something about lethargic...maybe memphis was just that much better than them. they played pretty hard in stretches, maybe memphis' talent level was a bit higher and it just showed.

Posted by: joerutgens72

i wasnt saying memphis isnt better, just saying there was a lot more walking around and jogging down court than there had been in the previous four

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

"maybe memphis was just that much better than them."

Yeah, there's a thought. This current version of the Wizards doesn't have a single player in the rotation who would be better than the no. 3 option on a good, playoff caliber team (and that's being generous).

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

thornton has been a bright spot so far, slightly blackholish (maybe) at times, but hell, this team needs somebody to score

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

"Not playing JaVale was a liability. Flip didn't have enough height on the floor.....Flip should have stuck with McGee.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | February 24, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse "

Really?

In case you didn't notice, JaStringbean had 4 fouls in 15 minutes total.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=300224027

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2010 9:56 PM

dc_mann, where ya been?! Nice to have you back, now that the Wiz lose a game. Guess you were busy for the wins.

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

on this team miller has to realize that he has to be a scoring threat or the passing lanes will be jumped, as shown...who's the 2nd best 3-ball shooter on tis team???? why is he penetrating and passing out to boykins at three line. he has to pick up some of the scoring, not just by making passes to open shooters when he's already beaten his man into the paint.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 24, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

seriously, the organization will be grateful to have Gil back by the end of this season. Foye is marginal at best and Boykins is the smallest black hole in the nba.

Unless there is an over-the-top pg available where we pick, Arenas is a huge upgrade for this team

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

funny that singleton goes 2-9 yet all you can think when watching him is "that guy needs to be on the floor"

i say give him all of Fab's minutes

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Gasol owned McGee -- that definitely didn't help.

The energy wasn't consistently high either like its been in other games. Thornton gave the team a boost in the 4th; Blatche had another solid game; Foye, Miller, Singleton all contributed. Even though McGee was getting schooled on the defensive end, he did provide some support on offense. Nick Young looked solid in his too few minutes.

This is one of those games where it would have helped to have had Haywood on the inside on D. Thornton has some pluses over Butler and Blatche has some pluses over Jamison. What the two may lack in experience, they make up for with energy.

The big loss on paper right now is with Haywood's departure.

Posted by: JPRS | February 24, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

as more teams figure out the wizards arn't much more than a good CBA team, more and more games will look like this one tonight. they caught some teams by surprise with their hustle, now other teams have film to look at. the good one will beat the wiz. hustle will keep them in some, but seriously no one expected more than that.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 24, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"seriously, the organization will be grateful to have Gil back by the end of this season. Foye is marginal at best and Boykins is the smallest black hole in the nba.

Unless there is an over-the-top pg available where we pick, Arenas is a huge upgrade for this team

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse "

I guess you're not paying attention that Gilby is suspended for the rest of this season.

All your Gilby slobbering isn't going to bring him back this season, if at all.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

The big loss on paper right now is with Haywood's departure.

Posted by: JPRS | February 24, 2010 10:13 PM

except for the fact bth didnt do appreciably better on gasul when the teams played earlier this season.

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I guess you're not paying attention that Gilby is suspended for the rest of this season.

All your Gilby slobbering isn't going to bring him back this season, if at all.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2010 10:19 PM

dont be obtuse, obviously i (and everyone else) knows Gil is out all season. I'm talking next season

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

as more teams figure out the wizards arn't much more than a good CBA team, more and more games will look like this one tonight. they caught some teams by surprise with their hustle, now other teams have film to look at. the good one will beat the wiz. hustle will keep them in some, but seriously no one expected more than that.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 24, 2010 10:19 PM

Especially with Josh Howard out for the rest of the season. I think he would have made a difference in this five-point loss.

Posted by: and_1 | February 24, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Especially with Josh Howard out for the rest of the season. I think he would have made a difference in this five-point loss.

Posted by: and_1 | February 24, 2010 10:26 PM

yup, he was a legit nba starter and 1 time all-star, not exactly the type of player this roster can afford to lose

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

In the first game Gasol shot 67% (not a very good defensive performance on Haywood's part).

In this one he shot 90% with almost the same number of shot attempts in 10 fewer minutes. The only reason he didn't shoot 100% is because he missed a shot at the end of the game when the Griz essentially had the game under control.

He scored something like 12 of the Griz's first 14 points. The Griz kept feeding him and McGee could not stop him.

Gasol had the edge on Haywood in the first game; tonight he owned McGee.

Posted by: JPRS | February 24, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

"dc_mann, where ya been?! Nice to have you back, now that the Wiz lose a game. Guess you were busy for the wins.

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse "

You're not paying attention as usual.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Wizards' weaknesses were exposed tonight. What are the Wizards going to do after they buy out Z, and either waive or buy out Mike James? I think a large center to back up McGee and a pass first pg would help. Paul David for center, and for pg, Curtis Stinson or Will Conroy.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 24, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"dont be obtuse, obviously i (and everyone else) knows Gil is out all season. I'm talking next season

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse "

Apparently, but not surprisingly, you dont' know what you are talking about as you said "this season."


------------------------------------------

"seriously, the organization will be grateful to have Gil back by the end of this season.

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse "

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

marc gasol is good. he just don't get any pub nationwide yet. he holds more than his own against most centers. JaVale didn't really stand a chance from jump ball. he'll only learn from this a$$ whuppin' what he needs to do. maybe he's going to figure it out. next year 15 more pounds of muscle will be a good start.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 24, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Paul Davis, I mean.

How are the Wizards carrying 16 players on the roster currently?

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 24, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

booker from clemson might be this year's dejaun blair. the wiz should look at him with the late first early 2nd

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 24, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

PostSubscriber,

I'd say that the problem at center was first exposed against Toronto with Nesterovic v. McGee.

Some of this you just have to roll with, because the idea is to give McGee time to develop. Still it's a painful process to watch. It will help if the Wiz had a guy like Davis to push McGee and at least off-set some of the mismatches caused by the bigger centers.

The issues at PG have been there all season. Foye is serviceable in some match-ups -- he's still a guy that I'd want to have on the roster (e.g. solid option at SG or as a 6th man in the back-court); Boykins is a good change of pace, situational player. PG is an area where this team can clearly upgrade.

Posted by: JPRS | February 24, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Thabeet, where were you?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 24, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

MM is plying the worest game. He is the reason for the two losses in this post trade season.I just could not figure it out why he is not taking the ball to the basket or try to be open to take some shoots.They out muscled blache, there was supposed to be a call to make some plays from out side, not by singlton by MM or foye or NY.In the back to back game and after a long flight washington should have to zone it or run and gun but no PG, too much dribling.Hey get a PG from D-lege.
Despite being circled at several occations and commiting some turn overs AB was 10 out of 19, this is maturity. I do not like his face,he should not give us such a crying face ,he need to be determined to lead this young team.

Posted by: gtefferra | February 25, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

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