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Ilgauskas is inactive, Thornton available and Howard starts

Nuggets (36-18) at Wizards (18-33)

Wizards starters: Randy Foye, Josh Howard, Mike Miller, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee

Nuggets: Chauncey Billups, Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin, Nene

Line: Nuggets by 6

Zydrunas Ilgauskas arrived in Washington and took his physical to complete the trade. But while his No. 17 jersey was waiting for him just in case, Ilgauskas likely will never wear it. He is hoping to negotiate a buyout. Ilgauskas has drawn interest from Atlanta and Dallas, should he reach an agreement with the Wizards before March 1. But many expect him to return to Cleveland, where he has played his entire 14-year career before getting dealt for Antawn Jamsion on Thursday. But he would have to wait 30 days after getting waived to join the Cavaliers. There is no waiting period if he joins another team.

Al Thornton will make his debut for the Wizards after arriving early this morning from Los Angeles. Thornton was unable to get No. 12 since it belongs to Earl Boykins, but he settled for No. 14, which he said he chose after the birth of his daughter on Jan. 14. Coach Flip Saunders said he plans on letting him play.

"He hasn't been able to do anything, other than watch," Saunders said. "So we'll see how it goes. We'll throw him out there, just to try to keep some things simplified and let him guard Carmelo [Anthony] a little bit."

Mike James was given an excused leave to return home to Houston while he tries to work out a possible buyout agreement with the Wizards. Coach Flip Saunders didn't sound to disappointed about his absence. "He hasn't played, not really in our plans, where we are at," he said. "There's an opportunity for him to go home and be with his family. We definitely made a change in where we're going. There's just not the need to have two veteran players int eh backup position. Earl [Boykins] is the player that's been great for us this season and we're not going to change that."

The Wizards have moved quickly to change the face of the franchise with some trades, and the locker room has a completely different look as pictures of Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Brendan Haywood and McGuire have been removed from the locker room hallway. The only image that remained in the locker room was a picture of Gilbert Arenas and Jamison that hangs just outside the training room.

For the first time in weeks, Arenas's locker room stall wasn't empty. His No. 0 practice jersey was hanging with a pair of shoes and some practice shorts.

By Michael Lee  |  February 19, 2010; 6:59 PM ET
 
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Next: New-look Wizards providing hustle, high-energy

Comments

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Posted by: Vicc | February 19, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

why'd arenas have stuff in his locker?

Posted by: bbachrac | February 19, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

damnn...loving the effort so far

Posted by: kanderson2385 | February 19, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Blatche--12 points in the first 6:30. Hope all you Dray-haters are watching.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | February 19, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz brass probably put Arenas' stuff back in his locker maybe in hopes of amending all wrongs because at this stage, their married to each other.

Posted by: visionof75 | February 19, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Blatche will become a superstar or not but he has clearly proven he should have been playing a lot more than he was.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Dray must'a been listenin to that BP3 "so ambitious" before the game ".......i'm ballin outta control. can u hear my sneakers?"

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Five quarters does not a post-all-star-game season make, but I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. Denver's a good team and I'll be surprised if the Wiz can beat them, but this bunch is looking good. Hustle, passing (though I hope more with coaching), and talent. I'm enjoying watching these guys!

Posted by: 7snider7 | February 19, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

this is the first jack free game of the season. aside from a couple of ridiculously uneccessary jumpers by mcgee ( flip should be telling him that the shot clock better have 1 sec left the next time he shoots outside of the paint, during this timeout) and Dray getting it in ( he's eating those dudes tho) they've been getting a lot from everyone even my man thornton chipping in.pick it up guys

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

AB getting his AJ on.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

AJ givin u the AB game 0-8 in 14 mins with 4 shots tossed. sheesh

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

AB getting his AJ on.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 7:58 PM

And Antawn Jamison is getting the business from Charlotte. 0-8 from the field and had his FIRST FOUR SHOTS BLOCKED. Dude took 8 shots in 14 minutes.

Posted by: artiesliver | February 19, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

LOL, lilhollywood! You beat me to the punch!!

Posted by: artiesliver | February 19, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Hot damn!
Two small forwards who actually move their feet on defense in Howard and Thornton!!

Blatche is beasting again and will find a way to keep this thing close if he gets back in the paint and does his work.

How is it that the veterans get traded and the collective basketball IQ of the team goes up?

Posted by: 2020doc | February 19, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Dray hater checking in...2-day Dray looking pretty strong tonight. Hard to understand why he was resistant to giving effort off the bench previously. only a game and a half in but that alone is more than I expected. Sure would like to see him sustain the effort going forward.

Love AJ's line tonight for Cavs, would pay to have seen Ferry's face after AJ got 4th consecutive shot blocked. I wish himv well personally but don't care if he hits a shot the rest of the season for the Cavs. Maybe he is just being a loyal Wizard and serving as double agent?

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young is terrible! How does he keep missing open jumper? At least Al Thornton makes his! Young just missed again!!! He sucks!

Posted by: JohnWWW | February 19, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

back to back threes to get us beack in it. G'night John boy

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

get us back in it

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

NY is 4-6 and 2-2 from deep. I agree he is terribly inconsistent but those numbers look acceptable.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe Boykins is that much better than James. Billups was posting him up at will earlier.

Posted by: 2020doc | February 19, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't care if they lose this game. They're hustling and hanging in there with a really good team. This encourages me.

BTW, Antawn is 0-10 in his debut.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Is it singleton or ross who is guaranteed to be with the wizards next year?

Posted by: tgerbracht | February 19, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Apparently AJ is most loyal Wizard of all and will ensure there will be no championship in Cleveland. Whew!

Agree with rachel216, terribly refreshing to watch this group. A sincere indictment on the "Lazy 3" to see a group with zero practice time be competetive through effort alone. Ouch.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Been a long time since I've seen this kind of hustle from a Wizards team!

Posted by: 2020doc | February 19, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

We just took the lead for goodness sakes...c'mon, are you kidding me.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

This is FUN! Forgot what a competitive game and an energetic home crowd felt like.

Posted by: tgerbracht | February 19, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Thornton's a keeper!

Posted by: 2020doc | February 19, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

This team is making me smile. First time in a LONG time.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

The_Shadow_Knows: Exactly. So refreshing to see guys who hustle and give it their all 100% of the time. There's a buzz in the building tonight that's been missing for a while.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Up by 5 dammit!....heart palipatations now kicking in! Go Wiz!

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Question: Who's the guy that's been wearing Blatche's jersey for the past couple of games.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | February 19, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

What were the Clippers thinking when they gave up Thorton?? He's giving Camelo all he can handle and then some!!

Posted by: 2020doc | February 19, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Denver is daring us to shoot from the outside. It's Miller Time, Flip!!

Posted by: 2020doc | February 19, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't recognize the sport these guys are playing. It doesn't look anything like the sport the other guys were playing in the previous 50 games. The former Bullets are up by 7 with 2:30 to play.

Posted by: twomangame | February 19, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Cavs down by 17...we are dangerously close to a perfect evening.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

A HAPPY MOMENT IN AN AWFUL SEASON TO DATE!! Maybe they are playing on adrenaline and will come back to earth, but I'll actually watch their next game!

Posted by: tgerbracht | February 19, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

AJ doing his part...now 0-12! Keep up the great work AJ!!!!!

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

This version of the team simply has more fight in it!! These young guys are capable of playing both ends of the court and getting stops when it counts!!

Antawn Who? Caron Who?

Posted by: 2020doc | February 19, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

yesssss!! 2 in a row!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, well!

Welcome home, Josh Howard, Al Thornton, et al!

Posted by: 7snider7 | February 19, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Nice job tonight. Flip can coach after all. Looks like Blatche & Thornton Do have potential. Howard is not surprise as he is playing for a contract next year. Singleton is a keeper also.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

they're having so much fun. best win of the season.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Tyrus Thomas put the handcuffs on Jamison tonight in their respective debuts.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | February 19, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow...Impressive.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 19, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Dever beat Cleveland last night...took last second shot to do so. We handily beat Nuggets tonight...so now Wizards best team in NBA right? :)

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

jamison looks so weird in a cavs jersey..

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing what you can accomplish when your best players play defense.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | February 19, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

cot damn it's a new day...

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | February 19, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Dever beat Cleveland last night...took last second shot to do so. We handily beat Nuggets tonight...so now Wizards best team in NBA right? :)

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 9:32 PM

No they did what successful teams do though beat a team who played the night before and had to travel

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Also nice to see guys making FT's in the 4th unlike the other choking dogs who used to be here.

Posted by: Mark_Edwin | February 19, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

uhh...yeah. That was sarcasm at play there. Sheesh.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse


idn't think Antawn could possibly have a worse debut than Butler (who went 4-16 from the field), but wonders never cease.

Lots of young talent on this team. If they play with this type of energy for the rest of the year, they'll be a pleasure to watch.

They play Toronto on the road tomorrow so I'm not holding my breath for a win, but these guys are spunky.

Posted by: and_1 | February 19, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

good job thornton! player of the game in your debut!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

who or what is this team?

Posted by: visionof75 | February 19, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

If Cleveland keeps losing like this, that pick we just got from them will start looking better and better.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | February 19, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Nice win tonight.

Posted by: JPRS | February 19, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Anytime the Cavs wear the blue unis, I think they are the Knicks for the first sec...Perhapz a little foreshadowing of Lebrons future?

Posted by: Vicc | February 19, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

"It's amazing what you can accomplish when your best players play defense."

Hand, I was thinking the EXACT same thing.

One more for you: also when they listen to thier coach.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

And I'm very impressed with Thornton. Now we know why the Clips are the Clips!!

Posted by: and_1 | February 19, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison are a combined 4-26 tonight. (so far, since dallas is still playing)

HAHAHAHA

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

ohhh baby, amazing what skilled and athletic ballers can do.
This right now is the most athletic team we have had since the days of Gus Johnson in Bmore.
I love it and look forward to so much more fun...with of course much hesitation and reality based balance...
oh forgetaboudthat...
go Wiz!

Posted by: mricklen | February 19, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Now, what about that; to those who wanted to throw cold water on us who felt good about the Wolves victory.

You said don't celebrate against that lowly team.

Now, what you got to say about this victory against the Nuggetts?
Are we allowed to feel good and celebrate this victory or not?

I tell you what, those paying folks in the VC were damn well celebrating.

Knoff said.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison are a combined 4-26 tonight. (so far, since dallas is still playing)

HAHAHAHA

Posted by: rachel216

Cuban should know by now not to make any trades with Grunfeld. Ferry is learning!! LOL

Posted by: and_1 | February 19, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

hey i'm sure the cavs fans are amped about what a class act AJ was tonight.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

This team, so far, seems like it has some chemistry or maybe it's called energy, which we didn't have much of before.

Posted by: cannontl | February 19, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Larry!

I'm waiting for DC_MA'AM 88 to show up and tell everybody to calm down!!

Posted by: and_1 | February 19, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison are a combined 4-26 tonight. (so far, since dallas is still playing)

HAHAHAHA

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Maybe offense is off because they were told they would actually have to play defense on these new teams? Imagine that could be rather confusing for them.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Like Rachel said "FUN!" When was the last time we felt that? I see quickness.... I see desire.... Effort! Even defense! Over achieving is SO much better than under achieving! I like these guys...!

Posted by: LaureninGlenBurnie | February 19, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

why's erybody hating on Caron and Antawn LMFAO

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

hey i'm sure the cavs fans are amped about what a class act AJ was tonight.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | February 19, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

"They play Toronto on the road tomorrow so I'm not holding my breath for a win, but these guys are spunky."

Bosh sprained his ankle, and they are losing/playing tonight.

Maybe another win on the horizon?

I'm going a little overboard here, but .500 gets you into the playoffs in the East.

Remember that.

Hang in there guys!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Agree with everyone. Obviously, the last team becoming stale meant no more hustle to go along with no more wins. The selfish play and lack of team spirit was demoralizing. I think this was my favorite game of the season except maybe the promise of the first game in Dallas which was the last game I saw the "Big 3" really hustle.

Fun. Thornton is an active athletic gem. I don't know why you give up on him. Is he the next Butler (trade steal) with more athleticism? Singleton, just a hungry hustle guy. Take him over Gooden and his attitude any day. Blatche and McGee both played well. Love the things Howard says and does thus far. And he plays defense a hell of a lot better than Butler did and if healthy might just be flat out better all around. He sure as hell doesn't hold the ball and stop offense like Butler.

Lol...watching Dallas and Butler is still playing as bad as he did with us.

Last comment: McGee played pretty well, but he has GOT to learn what a good shot is. Too many times he got the ball and jacked up ridiculous shots without resetting the offense or making a pass. But, let's hope this 30 games prepares him for next season when he is likely the starting the center. 10 lbs of muscle over the summer would be nice too!

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 19, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

If they can get a good PG in the offseason either via free agency or draft, this team will be very competitive next season. I like Foye but he isn't the long term solution at the position. He is a small sized combo guard better suited to coming off the bench.
I hope Gil isn't the long term solution at the position either. When he comes back, I'd like to see him coming off the bench as well. Yes, we'll be paying him another $80 millions to come off the bench but his astronomical salary shouldn't dictate his playing time if this team is to keep improving.

Posted by: Utilityman1 | February 19, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

This must be a different Al Thornton from the one that Hollinger has been trashing, huh? ESPN epic fail.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | February 19, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld's a freakin genius!!! Trade AJ, as a plant, to our heated rivals and they begin to lose chemistry and games. All the while, we get back hungry players and draft picks to energize our franchise!

Brilliant!!!

Way to take one for the team AJ! 0-12 FG Keep it up!

Posted by: musicman65000 | February 19, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I have not been on the blog for a long time because I got tired of talking about the same thing on here the past 2 to 3 years. I have always been a Ernie supporter and I knew after all of the trades all of the Ernie haters were out by the millions.

I am so glad to see we now have a high octane engery minded team now. As I was telling Geno on the in game live chat two nights ago, folks on paper do not mean a thing.

We had one of the best teams on paper with CB, Haywood, AJ, Miller and Gil. Guess what it did not mean a thing. Now look at this team on paper and they look bad on paper, but look at the results so far...

Go Wiz.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 19, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

"This team, so far, seems like it has some chemistry or maybe it's called energy, which we didn't have much of before."

What energy?

The previous team had none. They had no defense, they didn't have much of anything.

I just ask these guys to keep trying, keep playing the whole game. I AM sad Jamison is gone. Caron and Haywood....ehhh.

Don't think Cleveland is going to fall apart now, it's gonna take a few games but they are going to be fine.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

how 'bout some of that singleton, thornton and howard rubbing off on nick young at the end of the game...maybe it will stick.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 19, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Grunfeld has already said he expects Arenas to be with the team next year so everyone should prepare themselves for that. I still don't like him as a PG, but Arena definitely brings scoring to the team and it's up to Flip to figure how to best use him.

Posted by: and_1 | February 19, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Small ball pays off... Thornton and Howard playing like men with something to prove... the three surviving young uns playing well... and I knew about James Sngleton from watching him in Europe... Enjoyed this win immensely

Posted by: khrabb | February 19, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see the game but from reading the posts on here it sounds like the Wizards are finally have fun since they went away from selfish BB?

Okay let’s see who can handle this....

The Wizards go on a run and get the 8th spot in the playoffs and face the Cavs in the first round?

I'll let your imagination take it from there…

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I have not been on the blog for a long time because I got tired of talking about the same thing on here the past 2 to 3 years. I have always been a Ernie supporter and I knew after all of the trades all of the Ernie haters were out by the millions.

I am so glad to see we now have a high octane engery minded team now. As I was telling Geno on the in game live chat two nights ago, folks on paper do not mean a thing.

We had one of the best teams on paper with CB, Haywood, AJ, Miller and Gil. Guess what it did not mean a thing. Now look at this team on paper and they look bad on paper, but look at the results so far...

Go Wiz.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 19, 2010 9:51 PM

Ernie stills sucks though ROFL

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

this is dope tito

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

"This must be a different Al Thornton from the one that Hollinger has been trashing, huh? ESPN epic fail."

Don't ever listen to that guy, Hollinger is ALWAYS wrong.

"I have always been a Ernie supporter and I knew after all of the trades all of the Ernie haters were out by the millions."

Com'on now, EG has ALOT of making up to do. His previous team was a bunch of underachievers. He's not out of the woods after TWO games. Not to me anyway.

Now Flip, he's a wash this year. A lot of those guys who are not currently playing with the Wiz didn't listen to him and it showed on the court. These kids are listening and it's paying off.

Another reason I do not see Arenas being back next year.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

why's erybody hating on Caron and Antawn LMFAO

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 9:47 PM

They are no longer Wizards screw them

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Grunfeld has already said he expects Arenas to be with the team next year so everyone should prepare themselves for that. I still don't like him as a PG, but Arena definitely brings scoring to the team and it's up to Flip to figure how to best use him.

Posted by: and_1 | February 19, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

If Flip is smart he sits him on the bench like they did in NY to Marbury and wait for him to beg to be bought out.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"The Wizards go on a run and get the 8th spot in the playoffs and face the Cavs in the first round?"

Again, .500 gets you in in the East.

Miami has that last spot with 27 wins currently.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78: you missed a good one. fantastic game. they actually played DEFENSE.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the Nuggets were shooting 50% at the half and ended up shooting 44% for the game. The Wiz shot 46%.

Posted by: cannontl | February 19, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Can someone explain to me why the kids AB and JM didn't get any playing time last year or before now this year?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the Nuggets were shooting 50% at the half and ended up shooting 44% for the game.

That's easy. They ran out of gas from last night, lol!

Helped the Wiz out tonight.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

All Hail Ernie Grunfeld!

I've been telling you all for some time that Ernie had a plan for this team and that February would be when the team's fortunes would turn around. What you are witnessing is his genius and what he's capable of doing without meddling from the owner (RIP).

Again, I remind you, Grunfeld's not finished.

The Wizards' motto should be:

IN ERNIE WE TRUST

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 19, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

rachel216

Sounds like I have to find me a sports bar out here to go and watch a game.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

how 'bout some of that singleton, thornton and howard rubbing off on nick young at the end of the game...maybe it will stick.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 19, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

diving on the floor for the ball? taking a charge? those plays don't even show up on the sta sheet. what was NY thinking. the leadership by example. no single player in particular, they all raised the level of the guy next to him. let's keep it up .

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

"Can someone explain to me why the kids AB and JM didn't get any playing time last year or before now this year?"

Yeah, Haywood and Jamison.

If you recall, Blatche played great while Jamison was hurt at the beginning of the year. Jamison came back and his minutes all but disappeared and they moved him to back up center to get some minutes where he is out of position.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, they asked Flip about playing everybody tonight. He said, I think I will be doing more of that.

I wonder what changed his way of thinking. We should have been playing everybody all along.

It is a good thing to keep everybody on the edge of their seats ready to go in and play.

It breeds a different attitude and keeps the team fresh and ready to play.

So far I am loving it. The Pollins may have shanked Ted on the price of the Team, but in the process they might have hit on a winning formula for success going forward.

A group of guys that want to play together and ball and finally Flip realizing just to let them play.

Lets Go Back, Baby.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

melodious_thunk

Dude you know less about BB then kal if you think this was Ernie's plan?

He was told by Irene to get under the salary cap or else and these are the results.

Ernie's plan trading the 5th pick for MM and Foye backfired on him and what we are seeing are players who should have been playing but Ernie told Flip play the big 3.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards go on a run and get the 8th spot in the playoffs and face the Cavs in the first round?

I'll let your imagination take it from there…


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

..........Sweep Dallas in the finals?????????????

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

HOLY shyt, what a lollapalooza of a game!!!!!. Damn, that was exciting. What a way to get a new era under way.

Not missing STEVENSON, HAYWOOD, BUTLER, JAMISON, McGUIRE, GOODEN, or ILGAUSKIS in any way. Wouldn't have any problem with ARENAS being gone either.

That's earning your bread. Let's see if they left anything in the cupboard for tomorrow.

Sure was a feast tonight. 'DRAY and McGEE inside early were great. BOY was fantastic running the offense. NY contributed more than he cost us also. OBERTO was solid. MILLER helped. ROSS fair, only too many quick fouls. FOYE had a tough game.

Especially liked the way SINGLETON, HOWARD, and THORNTON played defense in the fourth. They were LOS TRES AMIGOS in the money quarter.

We're going to lose our lottery pick playing with this energy the next thirty games.

And that idiot SAUNDERS kept those small guys in all during the fourth. Imagine that. FIRE FLIP. He kept them together just because they were effective and winning rather than substitution and destroying the magic on the floor. What a terrible coach.

Why didn't he play McGEE? We've got to let the young guys get some burn, right JM pimps?. Plueeze. McGEE will get his burn have no fear.

Yes-s-s. Now this I will pay for. How about those tix.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 19, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

"Ernie's plan trading the 5th pick for MM and Foye backfired on him and what we are seeing are players who should have been playing but Ernie told Flip play the big 3."

I like Mike Miller a lot, he's a solid player and hit a couple 3's tonight that were pretty important. I sure hope he resigns here, but I don't think he is going to.

Foye is too streaky for my liking. He's either really on or really off.

- ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

flip doesn't have a winning pct. in the league because he can't coach. he won because he had players willing play defense. some players are uncoachable at some point. that's what he got when he came here. players set in their ways. now he has a bunch of young and/or hungry players, playing to prove themselves to somebody. easier to coach. defense is hustle. are they world beaters? hell 2 tha naw. fun to watch. hell 2 tha yeah.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 19, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the Nuggets were shooting 50% at the half and ended up shooting 44% for the game.

That's easy. They ran out of gas from last night, lol!

Helped the Wiz out tonight.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:01 PM

That likely had an effect, but if the Wiz did not continue to play as hard as they did, the Nuggets would have found a way to win IMHO.

Posted by: cannontl | February 19, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse


why's erybody hating on Caron and Antawn LMFAO

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 9:47 PM

They are no longer Wizards screw them

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse


clearly you don't pay my posts much mind. it's cool i don't take it too serious, but FYI i've benn calling for AJ's trade since last year, and i've been ripping CB since preseason.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

"some players are uncoachable at some point. that's what he got when he came here."

Exactly.

I still say EJ getting fired started all of that crap, but they wouldn't listen to Flip for nothing. Good coach or not.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards' motto should be:

IN ERNIE WE TRUST

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 19, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Well, I don't know how much of the last team truely had ERNIE's stamp on it, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Let's see what's up next year this time.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 19, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

"That likely had an effect, but if the Wiz did not continue to play as hard as they did, the Nuggets would have found a way to win IMHO."

I agree 100%.

They kept trying. They were down by 13 and could have given up.

I KNOW our previous team would have given up. I think that's why the last couple of games have been fun to watch. I just want them to keep trying, even if they lose. The old Wizards gave up too much, it was infuriating.

Someone mentioned "athleticism" and I think that's exactly what the Wiz have now.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

just wow. overnight this is a team worth paying to watch, and the fandom is all over it. Great game, gotta love how hungry the whole team is. We got young, long, and athletic in the blink of an eye. Props to EG!

Anybody catch Flip pickin NY up after he dove for that ball? Great stuff! This team is going to flirt with the 8th seed

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

22 total assists for the Wizards. When was the last time we saw that?

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 19, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

"22 total assists for the Wizards. When was the last time we saw that?"

Never.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

all day Dray droppin the first 10pts??? He keeps this up and we're all set at PF

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

AJ is the new Hot Rod Williams

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...

Well, gotta say first off I love the Jamison trade. Getting Ilgauskas' huge expiring, Thornton and a 1st round pick. As much as I like Jamison, he was always a liability defensively, Thorton is looking to me like he may actually be an upgrade. Love the way Blatche is stepping up too. Singleton looks like a guy who can contribute as well.

Weird about Arenas' locker. I gotta say Howard is looking good. Man a backcourt of Arenas and Howard could be pretty darn good. Thornton and Blatche in the frontcourt gives us nice size and scoring up front. Bring Foye and Miller off the bench.

Plus we got 4 draft picks I believe, 2 1st rounders and 2 2nd rounders. And the cap space to sign a major FA.

As far as the draft... I'd love to get Center Demarcus Cousins from Kentucky. I like a couple forwards with our later picks, Damion James from Texas and Trevor Booker from Clemson. With our other 2nd rounder how about Grievis Vazquez? If we end up with the #1 we can go for Wall... but this draft has some nice bigs in Cousins, Favors, Davis, Aldrich, and Monroe.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 19, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I said it last night and I'll say it again, this team has the potential to play .500 ball in the second half of the season

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 19, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

last night i said something about denver mailing it in. i thing blatch set the tone in the 1st quarter that he came to play. the rest of the team picked up on that. denver put forth effort in the 2nd and early 3rd quarter and then i think denver might have licked the stamp, but the tone had been set earlier and the bench picked up on it and terrorized denver's 2nd team. how great was that?

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 19, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Anyone also really impressed with how well they seem to be playing together? I would've imagined it would take a while for them to mesh together but the chemistry is there. I REALLY hope they can continue this tomorrow.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

"If we end up with the #1 we can go for Wall... but this draft has some nice bigs in Cousins, Favors, Davis, Aldrich, and Monroe."

You can make a good team quick in the NBA, it really doesn't take much if you know what you're doing.

And you can screw one up quick, look at Cleveland. ;);)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

"but the tone had been set earlier and the bench picked up on it and terrorized denver's 2nd team."

The bench scored 50 points tonight.

That's crazy.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see the game but from reading the posts on here it sounds like the Wizards are finally have fun since they went away from selfish BB?

Okay let’s see who can handle this....

The Wizards go on a run and get the 8th spot in the playoffs and face the Cavs in the first round?

I'll let your imagination take it from there…


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I like it. I would love to see it happen.

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

They looked really good the last two games, like they really enjoyed being out there. It's so refreshing to see this. Don't even think about bringing Arenas back and spoiling it with his selfish game!

Posted by: slimjim21787 | February 19, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

While it was a great win - especially with Thornton coming off the bench to score 21 points after not practicing (and never playing with this team before)- I think you guys are getting too excited. The Nuggets did play last night in a hard fought game PLUS the Wiz have not won 3 in a row all season so get ready for a let down tomorrow night.

I hope I'm wrong but I don't think I will be...

Love Thorton though. He was interviewed on NBA TV after the game and is a class act. Said he is excited to join the Wizards.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 19, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

as always we found a way to score the ball. 22nd straight opponent held under 100 tho. the defensive intensity was there most of the game.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

2nd lls

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Don't even think about bringing Arenas back and spoiling it with his selfish game!

Last comment tonight...

I made a post back when they signed Boykins on here that said something like,"....when you sign a guy off the street and he's playing better then the guys you have...."

They have to start completely over. I know EG likes Arenas, but he has to pull the plug on that. I hope what he's doing by putting the locker crap up is trying to tell other GM's,"I'm not just letting him go for nothing, but he's still tradeable."

Honestly. You have to make a clean break from the past if you are ever going to move foward.

G'night everyone. Hopefully they win tomorrow!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

You can make a good team quick in the NBA, it really doesn't take much if you know what you're doing.

And you can screw one up quick, look at Cleveland. ;);)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

simmer down pimpin. at 19 wins and counting we're not out of the woods yet. Cle is still tops in the conf. with arguably the best player in the game. If AJ still played for us you'd be less pessimistic about his prospects of turning around his slump and helping his team win games. I'm all for us turning this thing around, but let's be easy on the NO.1 team in the east til we get in the playoff conversation. 2-0 since the all star break is great tho.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

It's always great to see this team win without max money, stats loving, me first divas.

I hope Les BouleS do well for the rest of this sad season, but it's clear that the new owner needs to consider a new GM and it'll be a long time before this team becomes a respectable, nevermind a consistent winner.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 19, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Dude you know less about BB then kal if you think this was Ernie's plan?

He was told by Irene to get under the salary cap or else and these are the results.

Ernie's plan trading the 5th pick for MM and Foye backfired on him and what we are seeing are players who should have been playing but Ernie told Flip play the big 3.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 10:05 PM

Irene may have told him to get under the salary cap but she didn't tell him specifically which players to pick up in return. That's Ernie's wheelhouse and he showed why he's the best.
Lastly, the "Mediocre Three" got heavy minutes to improve the chances of getting them off the roster. I'd say Ernie Grunfeld played this tune flawlessly, wouldn't you?

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 19, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

"how 'bout some of that singleton, Thornton and Howard rubbing off on nick young at the end of the game...maybe it will stick."

Yeah, Thornton, Singleton, and Howard played their azzes off on defense and it rubbed off on even a guy like NY. I don't think I've ever seen him dive on defense for a steal. EVER. Just like all the selfish jacked up shots, no defense, and no hustle playing rubbed off on the team previously. Like someone said, I'll watch over achieving all day over under achieving even if the results are the same.
When is the last time we caused a couple of easy steals and breakouts from the press??? Wow...I'm extremely impressed. Probably most with Thornton. He had a mid-range game. He jumps out of the gym and he never stopped hustling or playing defense. Butler has not had a game like he had tonight in all phases in about two years! I stated earlier that the team got about 30% more athletic overnight. That number is probably higher especially with McGee and Blatche getting more mins. Replacing AJ and CB with Thornton, Singleton, and Howard is not even close on the athletic scale.

The other thing that impressed me was not just the fact they didn't give up, but they didn't give up with ALL the calls going Denver's way in the middle of the game. It was getting ridiculous. Singleton clearly cleanly blocked Melo's shot once and Melo got the superstar phantom foul call as just one example.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 19, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

No, I don't we're getting too excited. This team played DEFENSE! I think that in itself is enough reason to celebrate. It's the way they won that's impressive. Being down 13 and looking down and out, they could've thrown in the towel but they came back thanks to some big buckets by Thornton and Howard but most importantly defense was the key. Thornton just shut down Melo. Even if the Nuggets played last night, this is still a very impressive win. Plus the Cavs have now lost two in a row. Geez... all you people were like "it's just Minnesota" and now they beat Denver and people still don't want to give credit to the Wiz. You do realize that these are all new players who are playing together right? I'm impressed by how well they've played through two games when they're all playing with different guys and guys they probably don't know well. But of course they need to put together a run here, like maybe a 5 game win streak would be sweet... then we'll get really excited!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I will admit I only went to tonight's game because I couldn't pawn the tickets off on anybody.

Turns out it was as good a game as I've seen from the Wiz in a very long time.

But all the people declaring that the "new" Wizards are suddenly contenders need a splash of cold water.

The Nuggets, on a back-to-back, assumed they would come into DC and walk over a collection of disinterested cast-offs. Carmello, in particular, was laughing throughout the first half, making fun of his inexperienced opponents, not taking them seriously. He played terribly when the pressure was on.

The intensity was fantastic, but when the Wiz had the ball, they freelanced and got lucky quite a few times. The 4th quarter offense was "let Earl dribble around everybody until he pulls a defender off a jump shooter." The "hot hand" lineup Flip went with in the 4th quarter didn't feature a center.

Don't get me wrong. This was a hugely encouraging game. But let's not start shouting "bring on the Lakers."

Posted by: LetTeddyWin_com | February 19, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

super impressed with the new squad. i really like what i see. i just took exception to RAY saying that Cle has ruined their team after AJ has an off night; especially the way certain people on this blog fought tooth and nail for AJ.i luv what i've sen so far from the wiz. Al is my man.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

melodious_thunk,

EG's tune was called, "clear out cap space, position the team for a potentially high lottery pick, and maybe get a few prospects in the mix too."

The song that he dialed up wasn't: "This is how we make the playoffs in 2010".

It will be awesome if the Wizards are able to pull it off; and, in hindsight people might say "well this is what happens when you put a team together that has some talent and is really hungry," but no one is realistically expecting it.

In order to have a legit shot at the 8th spot the Wizards probably need to go 25-14 down the stretch. They have some talent, and maybe they can make some luck for themselves. If they pull it off though, it'll be a tribute to the players first and foremost. The coach and GM will deserve some credit too, but if EG told you he designed this squad with an eye toward notching a .670 winning percentage after the All-Star break, he'd be lying to you.

Posted by: JPRS | February 19, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I really see no benefit of Les BouleS making the playoffs, as almost impossible as it is anyway.

It's time to showcase some of the youth on the team and regroup for next season...new owner, new GM, new team...maybe even a new coach.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 19, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Just playin' some ball baby, just playin' some ball.

As long as Flip keeps it fresh and dosen't lock in to 'traditional NBA how to play the game crap' anything can happen.

It is so ironic BulletsFan78 that the behind the scenes motives by the Pollins to dump salary to increase the sale price of the Team has probably given Flip the dynamics he needs to win.

And lo' And' Behold', The Gunfight At Ok Corrall might turn out to be fight that killed the Big Three, but was replaced by a winning group of durangos' going forward.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

no LetTeddyWin_com....we don't really want the cold water quite yet...your team winning a game feels good...not ready to rollover yet...of course denver never, never thougth they could lose to the thrown together group of players than ernie had no idea COULD PLAY TOGETHER BECAUSE HE'S A TERRIBLE GM put together. they will probably lose every game the rest of the damn season. but tonight just felt good to watch.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 19, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"While it was a great win - especially with Thornton coming off the bench to score 21 points after not practicing (and never playing with this team before)- I think you guys are getting too excited. The Nuggets did play last night in a hard fought game PLUS the Wiz have not won 3 in a row all season so get ready for a let down tomorrow night.

I hope I'm wrong but I don't think I will be...

Love Thorton though. He was interviewed on NBA TV after the game and is a class act. Said he is excited to join the Wizards."


Well, I'm not predicting playoffs. I'm just saying it was great to watch hustle and over achieving for once this season. The players were great for once and I loved the mini-celebration with the fans at the end. Hopefully this is step one. Hell, Howard keeps saying the right things and playing well why not pay him for once season as a holdover. Don't think it will happen, but he is a real both sides of the ball player. I like the play of Thornton, Howard, and MM as individuals and as a team better than anything I saw before the trades this season.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 19, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

WE EQUALLED THE TOTAL WINS FROM LAST SEASON WITH THIS ONE :)

Posted by: bullets8890 | February 19, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

melodious_thunk,

EG's tune was called, "clear out cap space, position the team for a potentially high lottery pick, and maybe get a few prospects in the mix too."

The song that he dialed up wasn't: "This is how we make the playoffs in 2010".

Posted by: JPRS | February 19, 2010 10:48 PM |

Lay off the meds. I didn't say the moves he made would put the Wizards in the playoffs this season. You shouldn't operate machinery when heavily medicated. Sleep well!

My, my, what a beautiful song written, arranged, composed and performed by one Ernest Grunfeld!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 19, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

but DCMAN_88

if they accidently make the playoffs does that mean some of the players ernie picked up might be keepers for next year(i'm not advocating for ernie or anything), but sometimes getting ahead takes luck. i wouldn't mind seeing these guys win some games in the manner they won tonight at the expense of getting a lottery pick which almost never ends up being the number 1 pick anyway. for the wizards anyway.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 19, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Wizards new motto should be 'Energy, Effort and Excitement'. This is the first time in years that I've seen a young, hungry, and hustling Wizards squad. Thornton looks like a keeper and gave Melo all he could handle. Josh Howard looks like a better fit for the Wiz than Caron & is definitely a better defensive player. Singleton is a great energy guy who can hit the occasional outside shot.

This was the first time since the season opener where it was really fun to watch the Wiz. Lots of camaraderie on the court and the fans were on their feet in the 4th quarter when the Wiz took the lead against a very talented Nuggets team. As much as I'll miss seeing Jamision, acquiring Thornton, the Cavs No. 1, and the cap space was a great trade.

I hope that EG hasn't completely written off exercising the option to keep Howard around for another year. We need at least one veteran leader on the team and he looks like the guy who could fill that role. He's talking about competing for the playoffs and backing it up with his play.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 19, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

of course denver never, never thougth they could lose to the thrown together group of players than ernie had no idea COULD PLAY TOGETHER BECAUSE HE'S A TERRIBLE GM put together.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 19, 2010 10:54 PM

Open your ears and hear the sweet harmonies, Joe!

Sigh...

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 19, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"but DCMAN_88

if they accidently make the playoffs does that mean some of the players ernie picked up might be keepers for next year(i'm not advocating for ernie or anything), but sometimes getting ahead takes luck. i wouldn't mind seeing these guys win some games in the manner they won tonight at the expense of getting a lottery pick which almost never ends up being the number 1 pick anyway. for the wizards anyway.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 19, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse "

Les BouleS are currently 7 games out of the 8th spot where they would play against the Cavs in the first round.

Don't get me wrong. I want to see the current team have success, but I see no benefit of making the playoffs.

This team needs some luck with the lottery and free agency, where they're poised to offer someone max money.

If they can void Gilby's contract, that will clear some more room. They'll have a better case once Gilby's sentence is decided.

All in all, there are only a few difference makers hitting the free agent market right now, and they are LeBron, DWade, Bosh, and Amare.

NY can sign two max money guys.

I think it would work out great if Les BouleS can land a solid front court guy via FA, and then draft a big pure PG.

EG was quoted recently as saying that he sees Gilby as possibly returning to the team. EG, of course, can't be trusted and his words mean nothing.

Only time will tell.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 19, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Blatche will become a superstar or not but he has clearly proven he should have been playing a lot more than he was.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

No, he hasn't. We've seen this before, where Blatche has had an impressive game or two before disappearing from view. No one can question the guy's talent; the issue with him is, and always has been, the consistency of his effort and intensity. It remains to be seen whether he will now "bring it" every night, as he should have been doing for some time now.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 19, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

If the Wizards make the playoffs that would be nice. However, if the Wizards make the playoffs they would loose a high pick. But that's okay, because maybe they could sucker the Clippers again and dangle Arenas for their lottery pick. After all that has occurred this season, we deserve some hope and time to gloat a little. So all of you it's only 2 games reality checkers, just chill and lets have fun.

Posted by: Theone9 | February 19, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

now javale needs to hire kareem to teach him how to sky hook. add a little hop to it and no one can defend it. he's more atheletic than kareem and he only needs to give it a try. work on the lower body strength to not get pushed out, add a true power forward with one of your picks, and you may have something. of course you have to make a pick that fits the character of the players you have now. not necessarily a super star but it should be someone powerful with the pick you end up with in the first round. you got 2 chances to do it right. bring the sky hook to DC.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 19, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

At the shootaround, Washington coach Flip Saunders was seemingly excited over the team's extreme makeover and delivered a unique pep talk.

"We've got to play like a bunch of mad dogs," he told them. "That's how we played tonight. We went after loose balls, rebounded. We didn't give up on plays. The crowd gets into it, the guys get juiced up."


http://espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=300219027

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Blatche will become a superstar or not but he has clearly proven he should have been playing a lot more than he was.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

No, he hasn't. We've seen this before, where Blatche has had an impressive game or two before disappearing from view. No one can question the guy's talent; the issue with him is, and always has been, the consistency of his effort and intensity. It remains to be seen whether he will now "bring it" every night, as he should have been doing for some time now.

Posted by: rbpalmer

lol...rbpalmer, anacostia never posts anything that makes much sense, but Blatche has shown he plays better as a starter, which he was not with all-stars in front of him previously. He probably has 30 straight starts now to prove us and management otherwise. Nice start! He was trying his best Dream Shake impression to start the game.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 19, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong. I want to see the current team have success, but I see no benefit of making the playoffs.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 19, 2010 11:17 PM

You jus' jokin' right? The Wizards make the playoffs after what this Team has been through this year and you can't see no benefit in that.

WTF DCMAN88, the Wizs makin' the PLAYOFFS would be almost like miracle like.

You think this franchise and these players would not see any benefit in that?

Are you and Kalo_rama cousins?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Don't think it will happen, but he is a real both sides of the ball player. I like the play of Thornton, Howard, and MM as individuals and as a team better than anything I saw before the trades this season.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 19, 2010 10:58 PM

Like that made any sense..... he is a real what??!! Moron ROFL!!!

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

"No, he hasn't. We've seen this before, where Blatche has had an impressive game or two before disappearing from view. No one can question the guy's talent; the issue with him is, and always has been, the consistency of his effort and intensity. It remains to be seen whether he will now "bring it" every night, as he should have been doing for some time now.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 19, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse "

The only issue was the jealous MeTawn monkey on his back.

Now that MeTawn is gone, AB is one of the vets on this team and he has shown his ability to step up when the coach puts his trust in him.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 19, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I hope that EG hasn't completely written off exercising the option to keep Howard around for another year. We need at least one veteran leader on the team and he looks like the guy who could fill that role. He's talking about competing for the playoffs and backing it up with his play.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 19, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that Howard is the veteran leader this team needs. http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nba/news/story?id=4927285 However, even if these allegations are true, the Wizards will have the rest of this season (and all of next year if they pick up his option) to decide if he's the kind of guy they want to keep around long-term. I'm not naive enough to think that recreational substance use never affects the performance of NBA players (or other professional athletes), but actually missing a game because of a hangover could be a sign of a serious drinking problem.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 19, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Michael Lee: Ernie Grunfeld should get a lot of the blame for this mess. He said injuries and things that were out of the team's control created the problems this season, but there were some things that were in his control. He is responsible for everyone on the team. He signed Arenas to a $111 million contract after he had two knee surgeries, he gave Jamison a $50-million extension, he fired Eddie Jordan, he hired Flip Saunders and he traded the fifth overall pick for Mike Miller and Randy Foye.

He said recently that the team got "stale" but that happened under his watch. He held on to this group for too long, even when it seemed that it wasn't working out. If injuries are a problem, then how many years to you place your hopes on injured players?

Now, I thought that the moves that he made would've worked out better, but there is a reason why I'm on THIS side of basketball. I write and report. I've talked to other executives, scouts and players who thought the Wizards weren't going to be successful because of the leadership void on the team and the collection of offensive-minded players unwilling to sacrifice and do the little things.

That being said, the ownership situation may not get settled any time soon, so there is a possibility that he could survive. He certainly didn't upset the bosses by pulling off these trades, getting the team under the luxury tax and opening up oodles of cap space for the near future. I can't say for sure what's going to happen, but this whole gun situation and the public embarrassment that followed should make everybody a little uneasy.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 19, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the real what is what is your point. I see more athleticism and team play out of them than anything I saw before the trade. The problem with the team before was the players were not very well rounded.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 19, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse


In his post-game presser Flip said that when he and Ernie were discussing what they wanted in return for any guys traded, they wanted guys with "higher" basketball IQs. Not a ringing endorsement for Big 2 that left, IMO.

Posted by: tgif11 | February 19, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Last post was @anacostia.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 19, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, the real what is what is your point. I see more athleticism and team play out of them than anything I saw before the trade. The problem with the team before was the players were not very well rounded.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 19, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse "

What makes you think these players are more "well rounded" after watching 2 games?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 19, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

playoffs is just a pipe dream...it feels good to think it. but you never know. give ernie credit where credit is do. who thought this group of guys would show anything close to what they've shown after 2 games. history show that the wizards get the #1 pick in the draft how many times? what's lacking on the team as presented now is a power forward and a pass 1st point guard. you got 4 picks in the drafts 1st 2 rounds. out of those picks get it right just half the time. it doesn't have to be the first overall or even a lottery pick. andre miller would be a good fit at point if available and he wasn't a #1 overall pick. so one can be found with the picks you have. you just need a good talent evaluator of college players. ernie is not good at this so his assistant should be someone versed in college scouting. these are the types of changes you are looking for now.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 19, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

melodious_thunk,

LOL.

Ah, my bad. When you were hearing sweet music I assumed you had higher standards (e.g. "Playoff bound" or even the insanely good "Championship stomp!").

I wasn't expecting that you got kicks out of the old ditty called: "A 14 games below .500 record is good enough for me! (aka Ernie is genius)!"

A "genius" standard that's equals average (or worse) is not genius in my book.

I think it would be more accurate to say that "Ernie Grunfeld is an above-average GM". A genius would have at least won one championship in a 20 year career as an executive.

Posted by: JPRS | February 19, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Forget EG's comments re GA...he is being politically correct for several reasons.

First of all he is starting to make the case that the Wiz want to honor GA's contract as a basis for challenging the unions rebuttal against rescinding the contract, on the basis that the Wiz had intent to dismantle or not honor the contract.

Secondly he is attempting to maintain value on Ga rather than get into the same desperate situation that we thought the Wiz were in re Jamieson and Butler.

We will never/not see GA in a Wiz uniform again, no matter what is said or whatever the result of the sentencing and suspenions.

It is beyond obvious that GA is poison and not mature or interested in playing in a team concept.

I love GA, he is fun, refreshing and talented, when healthy. But if what we have seen in just the past 2 games, is not evidence of what is possible with team and not mestats ball, we would be committing suicide to consider GA into the mix.

Also in spite of the commentary on this blog, EG has seen the affect and devastation that GA has wrought.

As far as AJ, CB and BH, seriously wish them well, and lets look forward, not backwards.

Posted by: mricklen | February 19, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

The only issue was the jealous MeTawn monkey on his back.

Now that MeTawn is gone, AB is one of the vets on this team and he has shown his ability to step up when the coach puts his trust in him.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 19, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Nonsense. First of all, why would Jamison, an all-star, be jealous of a chronic under-achiever who has gained more notoriety for his off-court foul-ups than for anything he ever did between the lines? Second, nothing about Jamison's presence prevented Blatche from playing hard on a consistant basis. That was Blatche's doing, and that's probably what lead to any lack of trust on Saunders' part. If Blatche was to continue his strong play of the last two games, no one would be happier than me. But, as I said before, I've seen this from Blatche before, only to be disapointed by a return to lackadaisical play on his part.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 20, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

yeah rbpalmer, howards off court escapades could be a future problem. IMO most teams deal with these types of problems on a regular basis. i could speak of one player specifically that i know had substance issues but he's now a successful veteran player on a playoff contender this year. people change(and i'm not advocating josh howard)and sometimes they figure it out. he's got 30 games to show who he is. i'll give him the benifit of the doubt for now. this ain't missouri, but he has to show us who he is.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 20, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

"Nonsense. First of all, why would Jamison, an all-star, be jealous of a chronic under-achiever who has gained more notoriety for his off-court foul-ups than for anything he ever did between the lines? Second, nothing about Jamison's presence prevented Blatche from playing hard on a consistant basis. That was Blatche's doing, and that's probably what lead to any lack of trust on Saunders' part. If Blatche was to continue his strong play of the last two games, no one would be happier than me. But, as I said before, I've seen this from Blatche before, only to be disapointed by a return to lackadaisical play on his part.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 20, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse "

Nothing.....like taking most of the shots and affecting AB's PT?

MeTawn was the captain on the team, and instead of helping a dude to become a professional, he delighted on squashing him every time AB, a high schooler to the NBA, made a mistake.

MeTawn of course, let this Gilby nonsense get out of control.

MeTawn is only concerned about his 20-10...that's about it.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Javale McGee gets nasty and goes for a rock the cradle throwdown. Youngblood has some attitude baby.

Skakin' and Bakin'.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

now all he needs is the sky hook....

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 20, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

what does a protected second round pick mean?

Posted by: 1bmffwb | February 20, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

you see "no benefit" in making the playoffs??? what abt a sense of accomplishment? what happened to pride. or learning how to play together, followed by learning how to WIN together? let's not worry about who we might play or how much chance we have of beating this or that team. let's just play the best ball THIS team can play and see what happens. this might be the start of something new... stop trying to scheme on a higher draft choice. the better finish we make the better impression we make in the minds of prospective players. is that not apparent?

Posted by: dcjazzman | February 20, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

JPRS

I wish you no ill will because it's become readily apparent that you suffer from a condition called amusia (sometimes called "a tin ear"). Not much can be done about it so I won't belabor the point.

Ernie is in charge now and is making sound basketball decisions without regard to the personalities of overpaid holdovers. The Wizards are in a position to do something special in the next few years and if Ernie is left in charge and allowed to proceed about his business without undue meddling, the Wizards will succeed. Don't you see what he can do with a free hand (or do you think Irene Pollin is telling him what players to pick)?

Ah, the melodies and rich overtones are captivating!

Perhaps you should ask a friend knowledgeable of Grunfeld's recent transactions to describe to you the harmonic consonance he has created in view of your condition.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 20, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

btw: i know that earlier, in the heat of passion, i said that arenas should never see the inside of an nba or european league gym. i disavow those remarks and will welcome him back next season. regardless of what happens this summer, the effort being put forth NOW will be contagious when gil steps on the court from day-1. he will have to EARN his position back. sure, he may be given it back by management, but he will still have to find the game to convince these new guys to change something. i don't think HE can do that, and i therefore think that he will have to change parts of HIS game. like learning to play defense. like trusting everybody on the court. like keeping his mouth shut and acting like an adult. nuff said.

Posted by: dcjazzman | February 20, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

nuff said...

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 20, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

last thought...remember when the caps were in last place in the eastern conference and they came back and won the S.E. division. not to say the wizards will win their division, but nobody seems to want the 8th spot in the east. why not? it would be fun to watch...make it or not.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 20, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

melodious_thunk,

We don't really disagree about the long-term implications. Clearly EG's moves look good from this early vantage point. They provide the team with flexibility and some decent prospects. The Arenas deal still hangs over his head, but he might be able to preserve his job even if the deal stays on the books.

The past couple games have been fun to watch and the effort on the court has been first-rate. The odds are still strong that the Wizards finish at least 10 below .500 and land in the lottery. If we see .500 basketball from here on out, as fans we should count ourselves lucky (putting aside the implications for the draft).

As far as EG's genius goes, I still hold that his track record demonstrates an above average level of talent. Genius is Jerry West snagging a Kobe Bryant in a deal for the 13th overall pick. Genius is building a team that wins multiple championships. EG has a track record that's better than most of his peers. He's a solid deal maker with a talent for finding quality picks late in a draft. He's even shown a talent for consistently building playoff teams. He has yet though to demonstrate what I'd consider the rare quality of "genius".

In almost 20 years he has yet to notch an "Executive of the Year" nod (i.e. recognition from his peers that a GM is not only better than most, but the best for a given year). He's been a contender, but he's not in the same class as a Jerry Colangelo, Red Auerbach, or Jerry West. That's what I'd establish as a "genius" standard (I'll cut Colangelo some slack for never winning a title, considering that he won multiple Execs of the Year and is enshrined in the Hall of Fame). Apparently your "genius" standard kicks in at a level below that. That's your prerogative.

Now maybe if EG's around for a few more years, he'll merit a re-evaluation. At this point though, his track record speaks for itself -- it says: "above average, but not great". I also hope that he gets a chance to see things through, because there aren't many options out there that are clearly better. Above average may not be great, but it's still significantly better than the norm.

Posted by: JPRS | February 20, 2010 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Let's not get carried away here. One decent game, against a good west team that is on the second night of a back to back, after they played an overtime game against the best team in the league. And, they're playing in a different time zone? Let's all relax. It is nice to see some of the young guys get some time, and some of the new pieces look good, but let's be realistic. This is no playoff team we have here. Just as sure as AJ is not going to go 0 for 12 every night for Cle, and CB 4-16 for dal.
Honestly, the best I hope for is not making the playoffs and letting those ping pong balls bounce our way.

Anyone heard anything else about Ilgauskus? Is there going to be a buyout?

Posted by: outtabullets | February 20, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Uh, uuh... What?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

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