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New-look Wizards providing hustle, high-energy

Wizards 107, Nuggets 97

After tossing a grenade on his roster, Ernie Grunfeld talked about inserting some "freshness" into his "stale" team. This season obviously wore on the players, especially Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler, and it was obvious from their uneven efforts and occasional sour moods after games. Of course, a lot of that comes with losing and dealing with the weight of expectations.

The current collection of Wizards don't have to worry about championship aspirations, or even playoff goals - although that's exactly what newcomers James Singleton and Josh Howard talked about after the Wizards shocking 107-97 win over the Denver Nuggets.

If this group, which features four new players, simply rolled over and took routine drubbings, it wouldn't surprise anyone. But guys like Singleton, Howard, Quinton Ross and Al Thornton don't seem like the types who want to play half-heartedly though the final 30 games. They have too much to play for - free agent contracts and establishing reputations in this league - and only know one way to play.

"We played hard," Mike Miller said after the Wizards reached triple digits and had more than 20 assists for the second game in a row.

That effort didn't go unnoticed by the fans, who were satisfied with a team that refuses to cheat them - at least in the early going. Coach Flip Saunders said he expected this group to have a scrappier style.

"When we made the decision to make changes, we thought about the type of players we wanted to bring in here. Whether the players were going to be here long-term or not is something that will be decided but we wanted players that had high basketball I.Q., that played really hard and didn't give up on plays and were hungry. If we get that, we'll start setting the tone on how we want to play down the road."

Thornton arrived at 2 a.m., watched the team's walkthrough and took a nap afterward. He then showed up and scored within his first 20 seconds on the court, tipping in a Mike Miller shot. He came off the bench and scored 21 points on 7 of 12 shooting. He also had five rebounds and four blocked shots. More impressively, he guarded Carmelo Anthony very well by himself, holding Anthony without a field goal in the fourth quarter. Anthony had just scored 40 points the night before in a head-to-head matchup with LeBron James.

Thornton refused to back down. Anthony drove on Thornton and tried to bull his way into the lane but Thornton grabbed the ball and was called for foul. Anthony shoved him in frustration and Thornton charged at Anthony before eventually walking away.

"There's been a knock on me that I don't play any defense so I just tried to come out and play defense the best that I could," Thornton said. "I just tried to get up in him and make him frustrated. Once Carmelo gets into a groove and gets his shot going he's very hard to guard. I just tried to get in him and frustrate him a little bit and make him shoot off balance shots."

Thornton was just happy to get 32 minutes after being limited to a little-used reserve role with the Los Angeles Clippers. As he spoke to reporters after the game, two huge boxes filled with his Clippers warm-ups and uniforms sat in front of his locker room stall. Asked what he planned to do with his old stuff, Thornton joked, "I'm probably going to burn it up."

As he walked into the shower and Howard walked out, Singleton said to Howard, "That boy is country strong. We're going to have to call him 'Jethro.' "

Howard laughed. He is the only former all-star on the team, but he is playing with a chip on his shoulder after two rough, injury-plagued seasons in Dallas. He said his left ankle is still hurting and won't be right until next season, but that didn't stop him from leaping into the stands to track down a loose ball.

That hustle became contagious. Nick Young drew a charge on Chauncey Billups late in the fourth quarter. Earl Boykins later broke up a seemingly easy fast break layup for Anthony, when he sprinted in front of his path to force him to lose his dribble out of bounds. Young used his size and length to keep Billups from exploding in the fourth quarter.

"I went out there and played D. That's for Dominic right there," said Young, who had to say farewell to his close friend, Dominic McGuire on Thursday, when he was traded to Sacramento. "We got a great group of guys, big-time energy players. When you see guys playing hard, you cant do nothing but join them."

The trades of Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison have unleashed Andray Blatche, since he is the Wizards' best option in the low post. He scored 33 points with 13 rebounds against Minnesota on Wednesday and quickly went to work against one of the league's better interior defenders in Kenyon Martin. He hit a difficult turnaround jumper, drove inside for a finger roll and reverse layup, and hit a fadeaway jumper. He finished with 18 points - all in the first half - and 11 rebounds.

Although he didn't play in the fourth quarter, Blatche was the first guy off the bench to celebrate a made basket or a blocked shot. The vibe just felt different. Who knows how long this will last, but the early results aren't too bad.

"All guys coming in playing hard," Blatche said. "We all a family. We all around the same age. We all got the same goals and we all trying to reach them. We all just happy to see one another score and it was good for us. It's just roles change. All the players. we all clicking right now. We just hungry, thirsty, we getting work done."

By Michael Lee  |  February 20, 2010; 12:18 AM ET
 
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Next: McGee injures wrist, Young reflects on McGuire

Comments

IN ERNIE WE TRUST

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 20, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Id like to see miller shoot more and mcgee shoot less

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 20, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Lose four in a row, Michael?!

C'mon!

We gonna make a run for the playoffs. 7.5 games is doable.

Posted by: iamse7en | February 20, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Id like to see miller shoot more and mcgee shoot less

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 20, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse


yea I have never seen a player that LOVES to pass so much even when he has a open mid range shot

Posted by: kanderson2385 | February 20, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Great report Mike! I like what I am seeing so far from the new additions and holdovers. Keep it up fellas!

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | February 20, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

well written, good read Mike

Posted by: unkonchus | February 20, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Somebody buy Andre some verbs.

Posted by: photoassign | February 20, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

this one was for all you clowns calling for ernie to be fired

also, michael can we officially retire the "stale" quote after this post...i think it's tired

Posted by: Wittan | February 20, 2010 5:40 AM | Report abuse

This group of "replacements" is further proof that Erine Grunfield is still one of the best in the business. At the trade I knew we got two really good players back in Thornton and Howard...but I had no idea about Singleton and Ross. Singleton looks like he can really play!

Posted by: cedric_lockhart | February 20, 2010 5:58 AM | Report abuse

"Anthony had just scored 40 points the night before in a head-to-head matchup with LeBron James the night before. "

This sentence should read: "scored 40 points the night before in a head-to-head matchup with LeBron James the night before in a head-to-head matchup with LeBron James the night before in a head-to-head matchup."

See? Good grammar is available to all of us.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

In November of the 2007-2008 season, the Caps were mired in last place of the NHL standings. After firing Glen Hanlon, the team worked its way through the winter and put themselves in a position of making the playoffs for the first time in years. A red-hot streak at the end of the campaign enabled the team to qualify on the last day.

It could happen.

Posted by: apa67 | February 20, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Two things of note on this game -

the free throws!

plus, not only did they win the game in the fourth - they won by a full 10 points!

Let's hope this is the start of something good.

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

Last night's game was one of th most interesting and entertaining Wizard's games I have seen in years. Everybody played hard. Everybody hustled. Everybody played together.

In the 2nd quarter, I thought we were going to loose it. Too many guys playing like the old Wiz...jacking up shots with 19 seconds left of the clock.

CSN reported Flip pulled McGee and told him to shoot less. Didn't punish him or berate him...just told him to shoot less.

lot's of passes. Box score says 22 assists.

Box score also says 9 blocked shots, but I think it is closer to 15.

Not ready to say we have a contender, but with hustle like that a full roster of fresh, healthy players that basically got the first half of the season off, we can win some games against the Miami's and such that are feeling the wear of a season of 35-40 minute games.

7.5 games in 30 is a tough stretch but not impossible.

I'll believe for now.

Posted by: Blurred | February 20, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Has an entire NBA roster been revampled like this before midway through the season.

A good team on paper being totally revamped, basically, what is it...JM, AB, NY, MM, and EB the only holdovers.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Finally, at least something on what they're trying to build here: high IQ players, who play hard and are hungry (says Flip). That's not a lot and pretty general. But it does speak volumes about what they thought they didn't have with the old crew. For now, it's refreshing to watch a bunch of guys who don't feel like they are entitled to a certain number of shots, etc.

Posted by: jweber1 | February 20, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Uh-h-h, Larry, don't forget holdover ARENAS. As GRUNFELD said yesterday, be prepared to see him in a WIZARDS uniform. I sure hope we don't rue the day, but I not looking forward to it with breathless anticipation.

And I not forgiving GRUNFELD for his participation in the holy mess that vacated the phone booth. But since I don't know exactly how much of his engineering was ruled by ABE POLLIN, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. As the old ZEN-master said in Charlie Wilson's War.............we'll see.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

"IN ERNIE WE TRUST

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 20, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse "

Clearly, it's easier to blow up a team compared to building a competitive one.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"And I not forgiving GRUNFELD for his participation in the holy mess that vacated the phone booth. But since I don't know exactly how much of his engineering was ruled by ABE POLLIN, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. As the old ZEN-master said in Charlie Wilson's War.............we'll see.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse "

I don't think Abe had anything to do with all the bombed draft picks (Jared J., Peter John Ramos, OPech, DMac, etc), the acquisition of bad FA's (Dee Brown Jr, Mike James, Umberto, Chucky Atkins, etc.), the resigning of poor free agents (Etan Thomas & MeShawn), or the decision to let quality guys go like local product Roger Mason.

Gilby clearly is not worth max money, and shouldn't have been paid that.

EG is also responsible for hiring the medical and training staff.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Somebody forgot to tell these guys this team is counting on that lottery pick

Posted by: joe_hill | February 20, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Don't tank just for the pick. See what these guys can do. We are .1000 since the all star break and .750 since the trades started happening. If we go .650 the rest of the way, we make playoffs.

Let the kids play.

Posted by: Blurred | February 20, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

EG and GA ought to go. What happened over the last year is unacceptable.

The team actually has some chemistry for a change, and not big underperforming egos.

Play McGee this year and determine whether the Wiz need to buy a premiere center or a premiere PG in the off-season.

Posted by: Izman | February 20, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

They should just play hard everynight and not watch the standings.

If they are meant to make the playoffs then they will, but they will have top play like last night every night.

Two things:

1) I think it's funny that people think they can make the playoffs with the current roster and not the previous administration. Shows me people recognize when guys are trying versus guys who are not.

2) This team reminds me very much of the 76ers a few years ago where they squeaked into the playoffs. Nobody knew who they were but they worked hard and actually made it in.

That 76er team got bounced in the first round, but hey they scrapped thier way in.

Hopefully Bosh will not play tonight. If that happens expect a huge game from Blatche.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 20, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Is Bosh supposed to play tonight? It'd be great if he didn't...

Posted by: rachel216 | February 20, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"And I not forgiving GRUNFELD for his participation in the holy mess that vacated the phone booth. But since I don't know exactly how much of his engineering was ruled by ABE POLLIN, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. As the old ZEN-master said in Charlie Wilson's War.............we'll see.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse "

I don't think Abe had anything to do with all the bombed draft picks (Jared J., Peter John Ramos, OPech, DMac, etc), the acquisition of bad FA's (Dee Brown Jr, Mike James, Umberto, Chucky Atkins, etc.), the resigning of poor free agents (Etan Thomas & MeShawn), or the decision to let quality guys go like local product Roger Mason.

Gilby clearly is not worth max money, and shouldn't have been paid that.

EG is also responsible for hiring the medical and training staff.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

All of which I am in complete accord except I don't know how much was influence by ABE's desires. So one again I give him the benefit of the doubt and....... we'll see.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Let's not discount Flip's position in this, he can now coach. No old habits to break, only ensuring his system is taught & ran correctly. I think he will continue to have them in a position to be competitive the rest of the season. Great energy last night. Retire "The Replacements", they are the Wizards. Go WIZ!!!!

Posted by: Hometeamzfan | February 20, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Play McGee this year and determine whether the Wiz need to buy a premiere center or a premiere PG in the off-season.

Posted by: Izman | February 20, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Well, the latter is most certain because neither FOYE or ARENAS are true point-guards. Actually CRITTENTON was closer to that than either of the two. At least, he seemd capable of adapting to the role quicker and easier than either FOYE or ARENAS. But what's to worry, we have BOY, no?

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Interesting letter on the Wizards website from Robert Pollin, in which he vows, "This team is going to come back quickly."

http://www.nba.com/wizards/news/pollin_100219.html

I think he's right.

Now, if they buy out Z and Mike James, they'll have two more roster spots to fill with young talent.

Posted by: Luckysox | February 20, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The letter seems oddly out of place to me considering he has to sell everything.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Gee who would have thought giving guys playing time would make them better?

Not kal

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 20, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I second that. Never understood his position on players earning pt by already knowing how to play well.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

It's funny how the media are calling these guys replacements. McGee, Blatche were better than Jamison and Haywood they just didn't get to play. Now we add Howard and Thornton that makes us even better. We are more athletic, faster and bigger. Singleton and Ross are nice also. They just need to play. Can we say 3 in a row. GO WIZ. I'll pay to see this group.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | February 20, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if any of you listened to the comments Chauncey Billups offered after the post game but paraphrasing:
"Flip now has guys that are willing to play the way he wants to play, playing hard and playing defense."

Ronnie Thompson also took veiled shots at the former roster by continually stating how this team doesn't have players who are worrying about "getting their shots", or "what position they are playing".

Posted by: bozomoeman | February 20, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it was mind boggling why Flip would not move Jamison to the three so that Blatch, McGee, Haywood, and McGuire could all get PT at the 5&4.

Just put them in the game and let them play. It could have been done. It was the right coaching then as it is now.

Just let them play. One of the greatest quotes coming from this Team that I will never forget that epitomizes the attitude of confidence in yourself and what you do well is:

"I get buckets son"

I love that damn quote. And I assure you that one thing that was bound to happen if nothing else would if this guy was given playing time.

He would have gotten buckets' son'.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Don't tank just for the pick. See what these guys can do. We are .1000 since the all star break and .750 since the trades started happening. If we go .650 the rest of the way, we make playoffs.

Let the kids play.

Posted by: Blurred | February 20, 2010 8:44 AM


If we do make the playoffs, and drop out of the lottery, we can then draft Hassan Whiteside, the dood is a 7 ft. monster with SKILLZ!!

Posted by: Raef | February 20, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I like what i saw in the last 2games.Attitude, defense, respecting coach's plan and play hard.JM should be given pen and asked to write pass and assist for 1000 times during the trip to Canada.I like his defense.AB is impressive around the rim.
It might be too early to say but this team with steve nash could perform like sun with a better defense and inside game.
EG need toget a true PG. True point gard is mandatory when you run a young team.
Josh play defense, his offense is good, if off court issue is excluded there should not be any hesitation to pick his contract or sign him for long term.He knows how to play with a superstar,he will take us to the next level.EG need to convince MM to stay here.foye is not the right gard, I am not commenting on him based on his bad shooting nights,i am not happy with his defense at all.Every PG in NBA will take advantage on him.He is very slow,not that strong or big,at least he is not a starting PG for any contender team.

Posted by: gtefferra | February 20, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Abe had anything to do with all the bombed draft picks (Jared J., Peter John Ramos, OPech, DMac, etc), the acquisition of bad FA's (Dee Brown Jr, Mike James, Umberto, Chucky Atkins, etc.), the resigning of poor free agents (Etan Thomas & MeShawn), or the decision to let quality guys go like local product Roger Mason.

Gilby clearly is not worth max money, and shouldn't have been paid that.

EG is also responsible for hiring the medical and training staff.

I don't think Ernie is responsible for drafting Jared Jeffries while working for the Milwaukee Bucks. Ramos and DMac were second round picks and I don't think DMac was a bomb. James wasn't a FA signing, neither was Chucky Atkins, Dee Brown got a minimum contract to be a 3rd string PG.

I don't think re-signing DeShawn was a bad move. His back going out and his level AFTER of play ruined that. I'll give you Etan...and Roger Mason? Who cares. He is of no significance. How many more games do they win last year with Mason? Does a 19 win team become a 20? Win team? Yeah sure. Great. Feel how you want about Arenas or whatever or his contract. The training and medical staff? Come on...you're getting desperate.

Just have your facts right.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 20, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Wow, 2 for 2, maybe this new team can accomplish something the old team can't, win 3 in a row!

What's up with McGee taking the most shots? 13, along with Blatche, but Blatche played more minutes and hitting 61% of his shots; McGee just threw up bricks. While his offensive skills are limited, he seems to think he can shoot from anywhere on the court.

I like McGee's upside, but please, learn how to play the right way. If you want to practice outside shots, try them during practice first!

Posted by: sagaliba | February 20, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see such enthusiasm from Wiz fans. I, for one, am not falling for this mirage...yet. Too many times this team has sucked us in only to let us down in the end. I know we have new, unfamiliar, faces on the court, but it will take more than a couple games to make me a believer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though, that this is the beginning of a new path heading in the right direction.

Posted by: bajandave | February 20, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

This blog's ongoing Ernie Grunfeld debate is a necessary one. I net out at the position that he has done slightly more good things than bad things. (Where are the guys who always post the lists?) What makes a full assessment nearly impossible at this point are:

We still don't know whether he or Abe made the ultimate call about overpaying Gilbert and AJ, and the over-emphasis on the whole Big Three thing. Keeping them was fine; overpaying them helped to create this situation.

He strikes me as primarily a deal-maker and not a rebuilder. Is he the right guy to stay with a rebuilding strategy?

He's openned up a little with the press lately, but he is naturally very secretive and for some reason the Post and Comcast only ask him soft-ball questions. The local media is intimidated of the guy and is fearful of pissing him off. Going forward, we need an owner and GM who is going to communicate to the fans what the plan is.

Why did he seem immune to the fact that we needed more strong defensive players?

Why did this entire team seem to let Gilbert get away with everything? Where was the discipline from the front office?

If Leonsis ultimately gets the team, does Grunfeld fulfill his vision of how he wants to do things, or is he expected to replace Grunfeld with someone else?

At the end of the day, when questions of canning someone comes up, you have to ask: Who out there is better? I think Grunfeld has the brains, relationships, and tenacity to execute a good plan. He stuck with a flawed plan for too long and, now, there is no plan.

I say he should stay and be given one more chance to work with Leonsis to turn this thing around--but with the directive the entire franchise needs to articulate what they are doing so the fans can feel more a part of something. If there is a genius GM available out there, would someone please indicate who they are?

And, having said that, now everyone can yell at me.

Posted by: jweber1 | February 20, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I think the old players are in EJ's system too long to thrive in Saunder's system. This group of players certainly plays Saunder's scheme better. Another problem with Jamison and Butler is they don't pass. Butler holds the ball far too long, and Jamison just releases the shots whenever he gets it. Since they were the ones who got most touches, I am not surprised to see that we have better assist number than before.

Between Singleton and Ross, Singleton looks like a keeper. Too bad, it is Ross who has the player option for the next year.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 20, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

BFD, Ernie is cleaning-up his mess, the man MUST be fired when the new ownership team is in-place.

Posted by: closg | February 20, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Lets just hope that McGee doesn't get banished back to the end of the bench for taking those shots.

This is something that is easily corrected rather than the banish to the bench methods of the past.

You can truly learn from your mistakes by playing and correcting them on the floor.

You can't make mistakes or correct them on the bench.

Watch out, for there is true wisdom in the aforesaid statement. I hope Flip Saunders is finding that out.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It's enjoyable to watch a hungry team compete. It's not enjoyable to watch both your PGs get victimized by the opposition.

I don't have any expectations for this team but...if Mike James gets a buy out and if this teams goes on an improbable run, Antonio Daniels is a free agent and could be brought in at the vet minimum for the balance of this season.

I don't see the Zards going after any of the big free agents this summer, I'm fine with that.

I'm also fine with exercising the option for Josh Howard after this season. If nothing else he becomes a tradable option next year for any team wanting a salary dump.

Posted by: bozomoeman | February 20, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Typical spin by DC_MANN. It was well known that Pollin thought that the "Big 3" were his last shot at a title before he died. Plus, AJ was his second favorite player to only Wes Unseld. If you don't think those desires had no implication on what EG did as GM then you are as delusional as DC_MANN.

Then DC you add in acquisitions and picks that EG did not even make all the while cherry picking the negative. How's Roger Mason doing now? He's barely playing last time I checked and definitely not doing much. But, yeah, man, he would have been all the difference.

Not to mention that you have no clue who is in charge of the training or medical staff. You're just talking out your azz. Abe Pollin, Mr. Loyal, may have his own doctors and trainers for all you know.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 20, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

That was the most entertaining Wizards game in years. Most interestingly, the team played better as a team than they have the past two years despite having so many new parts. I think Butler, Twan, Arenas were still playing EJ's Princeton offense in Flip's system, jacking up jumpers even though no isolation was being run for them, leading to contested jumpers. These news guys (just one game yet, know it's still too early to say) seem to understand spacing, ball-movement, court geometry, pace, and the improvement as a team was night and day.

They are also more athletic. Starting the fast, vertical albeit still bulk-challenged Mcgee, putting the skinny Blatche at PF where he isn't outmuscled by opposing Cs, and inserting the athletic Howard and Thornton, gives the team a height, pace and athleticism it hasn't had in, well, maybe ever. That is a team that can physically compete against the athletic upstarts in the league: Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Portland, etc. The team still really needs a fast, pass-first point guard who can orchestrate pace, movement and take advantage of the new athleticism.

Defense was inspired. I don't think any of these guys will make the All-Defensive team, but last night showed that effective D is two parts effort to one part talent. They played as if it were a playoff game, and that's what good teams do.

I grudgingly have to give Grunfeld, who I'm not a fan of, credit for injecting some instant athleticism, desire and youth into the roster. My biggest fear is his shoddy draft record and proven inability to swing for the fences on draft day to get the type of transcendent player a team like this can rally around.

Posted by: SammyT1 | February 20, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Next years team under contract at this point:

.GILBERT ARENAS - 17,730,694.
....JOSH HOWARD - 11,835,000 (team option).
.....RANDY FOYE - 04,795,095 (80% scale offer).
.ANDRAY BLATCHE - 03,260,331.
....AL THORNTON - 02,814,196.
.....NICK YOUNG - 02,630,503.
...JaVALE McGEE - 01,601,040.
...QUINTON ROSS - 01,146,337 (player option).

Players with expiring contracts:

.ZYDRUNAS ILGAUSKAS - 11,541,074.
........MIKE MILLER - 09,750.000.
.........MIKE JAMES - 06,466,600.
....FABRICIO OBERTO - 02,100,000.
.JAVARIS CRITTENTON - 01,477,920.
.......EARL BOYKINS - 01,204,841.
....JAMES SINGLETON - 01,030,189.
.........PAUL DAVIS - 00,066,514.

Lots of options for trades signing or not and drafting.

Everybody's saying EG sucks at drafting, but didn't he get McGUIRE and McGEE in the second round? Maybe we should say he bad at picking superior talent, but O.K. at mediocre ones.

Off two games, I would exercise the team option on HOWARD and off this season, I would make the offer on FOYE.

ROSS, the jury's still out at this point. Too many fouls and not enough PT to even make a snap judgement. We could get a draft pick there.

On the expiring list, Z's obviously out, and a shame. With a drastic cut in pay, a two year contract for a part-time role would work IMO. But that's not going to happen.

I would sign MILLER if he doesn't want too much of an increase.

JAMES - good riddence.

I would sign OBERTO. He has limited value as a role player in FLIP's system. Only a one or two year contract though at a minimum increase.

CRITTENTON I suppose has to go both because of his participation in the summer league which cost him this season, and then being ARENAS' unwitting foil. What a shame.

I could see signing BOYKINS for a year at about the same salary, and a draft pick to take his place.

Absolutely sign SINGLETON. I like what he brings to the floor especially his tough play on defense. Give him three with a raise.

PAUL who........?

And all this with a great big grain of salt right now. "We'll see." said the ZEN-master.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

anybody else think foye is playing his way off the team? he doesn't look like he's worth 4.8 mil or whatever the qualifier is.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 20, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

We'll be heading out in a little while for the game tonight. Looking forward to seeing the new-look Wiz...especially McGee. And with the best of all scenarios last night---- the Nuggets having to go to overtime but finally winning, I'm seeing an upset in the Wizards immediate future. Should be fun.
Posted by: dovelevine | February 19, 2010 3:27 PM |


Well somebody called it!! What a game. Best we've seen in a long long time. Really can't remember seeing a better game than this.
Amazing time at the Booth and the place was goin crazy. And the Wizards played fantastic team ball. Just a great night.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 20, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

anybody else think foye is playing his way off the team? he doesn't look like he's worth 4.8 mil or whatever the qualifier is.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 20, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Me. I said sign because at this point we have limited options at the point. If we sign a Big FA I hope its here. Of course, there's ARENAS for the next two years until his player option - maybe.

If he gets SERIOUS hard time(three-four years), he's gone. Six months, a year would probably be suspended, and then he's back in the house.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Someone up there said that EG had a "shoddy draft record." That's just insane! Blatche and McGuire are productive rotation players who he found in the 2nd round. Just look at past 2nd rounds and tell how many of those guys have you ever heard of, or who ever played one NBA minute. Blatche and McGuire is huge. Young and McGee were drafted in the 15-20 range. Again, look it up. They have been very productive for that draft position. Pecherov was a bust, I'll admit. But the rest of his drafting records - defined according to who was available when he drafted - are pretty good.

Posted by: Urnesto | February 20, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse


If we do make the playoffs, and drop out of the lottery, we can then draft Hassan Whiteside, the dood is a 7 ft. monster with SKILLZ!!

Posted by: Raef | February 20, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Lots of good guys to be had in the 10-20 slots and some of them will drop even further.

Good analysis G...except I think Miller will be getting a pay reduction. not an increase. 3 years avging $6-$7 mil would be nice. He plays with heart and plays a full game, both ends and is supremely undselfish...all good traits to have in a Vet on a very young team.

Go Wiz...I am hoping for a 3 streak tonight.

Posted by: Blurred | February 20, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood,

I don't think Foye is worth 4.8 mil, but I also think he's playing out of position. He's not a good a fit at PG in Flip's system which has him dominating the ball and running the offense. It's just not his forte.
HOWEVER, I don't think Ernie has the stones to let him and Miller walk at the end of the season, though. There would be too much hell to pay for winding up with NOTHING for last year's 5th overall pick.

Posted by: and_1 | February 20, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards need a steady, not necessarily great, PG to run their offense. I think a guy like Steve Blake would be a good fit in that role. Arenas and Foye are not.

Posted by: and_1 | February 20, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

anybody else think foye is playing his way off the team? he doesn't look like he's worth 4.8 mil or whatever the qualifier is.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 20, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Foye or MM will be on the team so why did Ernie trade last years draft pick?

Larry,

how would you like to see a lineup like this..

Ty Lawson PG
Free Agent SG or this years draft pick
Al Thornton SF
AB PF
McGee C

That's a young team that could grow together...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 20, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

BTW, With the group of Young, Boykins, Howard, Thornton and Singleton having made a run late in the 3rd period and having brought the Wiz back from a 12-point deficit, Flip decided to ride the hot hand and left this group in for the entire 4th quarter. He didn't sub at all. Which turned out to be a gutsy yet correct decision.

That reminded me back to the Mavs game in January when the 2nd squad made a run and pulled the team back into the game from a large deficit just like last night. But in the 4th quarter of that game, Flip brought Jamison back into the game, even though he was having one of his worst nights ever and was constantly getting torched by Dirk. Jamison never should have been put back into that game.

And sure enough he almost single handedly cost us the game both offensively and defensively.
He never should have been brought back in but Saunders didn't have the stones to continue to sit him.

Pretty amazing that last night Flip went the entire 4th quarter without bringing Blatche or Miller in even though Blatche had been on fire in the first half.
Maybe he can really begin to coach now.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 20, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

i dig your angst BF78. But i do think MM is at least worth an offer,maybe even a slight "over-pay" just to make sure we keep him. but he's a baller. foye, i would let walk tho. i'm as confident if not more confident in NY at the 2, as i am with foye. NY is under contract, and in a contract yeaqr next year. let him get his legs off the bench the rest of this year, and take the reins off next year when foye's gone. MM or NY deserve the start at the 2 over Foye IMHO.Foye looks like cheeks out there. His shot ain't fallin, and he does't create (he missed McGee on a couple oops that even Gil woulda dished).

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 20, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Jamison's take on his "turrible" debut, coach disses his team's defense (chuckle, chuckle).


http://www.ohio.com/sports/cavs/84835062.html

Posted by: and_1 | February 20, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Someone up there said that EG had a "shoddy draft record." That's just insane! Blatche and McGuire are productive rotation players who he found in the 2nd round."

Blatche has had two very good games in a row, but his tenure here has been marked by inconsistency. I hope he grows into his potential, which is vast, but he still has a lot to prove. Mcguire is an NBA 11th/12th man. Good effort, OK passer, but has an ugly offensive game. If you are going to put your O at a 4-on-5 disadvantage at the O-end, you better be a lockdown defender on D end. He is not.

"Just look at past 2nd rounds and tell how many of those guys have you ever heard of, or who ever played one NBA minute."

Well, Dejuan Blair, Chase Budinger and Dujuan Blair from this year come to mind. They were all available when we sold our #2 this year.

"Young and McGee were drafted in the 15-20 range. Again, look it up. They have been very productive for that draft position."

Really? Neither has proven anything yet in my opinion. Young has a sweet stroke, but is a poor passer, plays sparse D and looks lost and/or self-obsessed on the court. I liked his effort on D last night, but a third-year player should be further along in terms of team play and the nuances of the pro game. Mcgee has potential, but until the recent fire sale, could not get on the court, and has yet to show much except some good blocking skills and spectacular dunks. I hope he proves me wrong with some great play and development these next 30 games.

"Pecherov was a bust, I'll admit.

Yes, and that Vermeenko dude, too.

But the rest of his drafting records - defined according to who was available when he drafted - are pretty good.

There are some worse picks before he drafted, and also many better after he drafted. The point remains: he has yet to draft a single consistent NBA starter for this club, let alone an all-star, in many years at the helm. That is a poor draft record by any measure.

Posted by: SammyT1 | February 20, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse


Let's start with this: In his Cavs debut, Antawn Jamison appeared as if he'd never played an NBA game before. As it was, it was the first time he came off the bench in a game in five years, and it looked like it. He also was joining a team without getting a practice or even a shootaround to even learn the plays. That looked like it, too.

Jamison was a miserable 0-of-12 from the floor in 26 minutes with seven rebounds.

"I rushed a couple shots and I had a few blocked; I couldn't get into a rhythm," Jamison said. "It was one of those nights that will never happen again, I can promise you that."

He now has the inauspicious designation of being a part of the Cavs' worst two losses of the season. He scored 31 points with 10 rebounds in helping the Wizards smash the Cavs by 17 points in November, and now this. It included two air balls and four times getting his shot blocked by Charlotte's formidable basket defenders.


http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2010/02/antawn_jamison_cant_sink_a_sho.html


The reporter didn't pull any punches on Jamison.

Posted by: artiesliver | February 20, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I've always liked Al Thornton. It'd be nice f he stuck around and blossomed here.

The people who are giving Ernie props for what the team is doing have their heads so far up their backsides, it's just ridiculous.

Last night's victory was predicated largely on Thornton's ability to DEFEND and shut down Melo in the 4th quarter. And to see the synergy of having alot of hustle players willing to do alot of things on the court.

Ernie's preferred philosophy here to build around AJ and Gil was exactly the opposite - emphasize one-dimensional scoring guys who don't play defense.

Now this rag-tag group that he was essentially forced to assemble as a collateral necessity to blowing up the roster outperformed his precious "Big 3".

If anything, this is showing what a moron Ernie truly is and how off-base he was with his "Big 3" philosophy.

Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

sammyt1: "Well, Dejuan Blair, Chase Budinger and Dujuan Blair from this year come to mind. They were all available when we sold our #2 this year."

I'd make fun of this post, but it appears you already have.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Gil's our pg next season dontcha know

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Ty Lawson PG
Free Agent SG or this years draft pick
Al Thornton SF
AB PF
McGee C

That's a young team that could grow together...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 20, 2010 12:03 PM

so you're saying EG has 4/5th of the lineup you want in place? Dont cry over Lawson, he aint all that. Glad to see you're onboard with Ernie's plan!

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"Last night's victory was predicated largely on Thornton's ability to DEFEND and shut down Melo in the 4th quarter. And to see the synergy of having alot of hustle players willing to do alot of things on the court."

Odd thing is, Al Thornton has been compared to stellar defenders such as, well, Antwan Jamison. He even made a point of that last night, suggesting he surprised Melo by getting in his face and interfering with his preferred spots. Josh Howard is the guy who's been known to play a little defense.

Be interesting to see how this plays out. And that's all i wanted -- to watch some good basketball games.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

If anything, this is showing what a moron Ernie truly is and how off-base he was with his "Big 3" philosophy.

Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 12:51 PM

The Big 3 concept worked for four years. Grunfeld's problem was not recognizing their success had run its course and then compounding that oversight by overpaying to keep them here with major input/pressure from Abe Pollin, IMO. That's about as fair as I can be with regard to Grunfeld.

Posted by: artiesliver | February 20, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"Now this rag-tag group that he was essentially forced to assemble as a collateral necessity to blowing up the roster outperformed his precious "Big 3".If anything, this is showing what a moron Ernie truly is and how off-base he was with his "Big 3" philosophy.Posted by: p1funk"

I apologize for interfering with your gloat fest but don't you think we should watch some more games before passing judgment on the aforementioned ragtag group?

By the way, Haywood and Butler looked pretty good for Dallas last night.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Ty Lawson PG
Free Agent SG or this years draft pick
Al Thornton SF
AB PF
McGee C"

IMO that's a lineup that loses a whole lot of games in the NBA. Only defense for that lineup would be the Wiz weren't winning anyway...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

great to see JM finally getting real PT. Yeah, he was shot happy last night and eventually pulled, but he'll play plenty tonight rather than disappear for 2 weeks.

I like the look of a frontcourt trying to score, keeps much more action closer to the rim.

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to add that Grunfeld hired a coach whose system and philosophy were ill-suited to the Big 3. There's no escaping that.
That being said, he seems to be targeting the type of players to help right the ship in the short term.

Posted by: artiesliver | February 20, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I have painful memories of Al Thornton torching the Maryland Terrapins when he played for Florida State. It's good to have him on "our" side. Adding Thornton, Singleton and Howard to Blatche, Miller and McGee has led to the creation of an incredibly athletic team. And look at the results.

Winning [just like losing] is contagious. Everybody on the team, including Flip Saunders, is giving 100% effort. I hope the Wizards stay on a roll and slip into the final playoff slot. It would be great to see this revamped high energy team go head-to-head against LeBron/Shaq/Antawn in the first round.

Posted by: musicmanjr | February 20, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

so being young and athletic and willing to pass helps in basketball? who knew, thank you wiz for helping me erase the past two years from my memory in just 96 minutes

Posted by: bford1kb | February 20, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Flip now has guys that are willing to play the way he wants to play, playing hard and playing defense."

We all knew that, but it carries weight coming from someone like Billups. The odd man out all year has been Flip Saunders. I'm still reserving judgement on him because he came into such a bad situation.

Again sad to see Jamison go, not so much Caron or Haywood. Definately not Stevenson, but at least he tried his best thought hat back injury. Mac, well, you didn't play much.

"I have painful memories of Al Thornton torching the Maryland Terrapins when he played for Florida State."

That's funny because I was trying to figure out where I heard of him before. Then they said "Florida State" and I was like "Oh yea, he used to kill Maryland inside. I remember that guy."

I just hope they play hard the rest of the year, win or lose. That's all I ask of them as a fan.

Don't give up. Ever.

I think the thing that bothered me most about the last bunch is that you could tell not everyone was giving max effort. I was down on Caron because it always looked like he could care less if they won or lost. He said the right things, but I didn't believe him.

And while I know this is BIG stretch, I sure hope they re-sign Mike Miller.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 20, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@SammyT1,

BFD! He also had very few top picks. Why? Bc he assembled a roster that made the playoffs 4 straight years. Some of you in here are just so obtuse and illogical. Who drafted our starting PF and C right now? Hmmmm...think real hard. Don't have an aneurysm! And that would be a 2nd rounder and a late first rounder. He sucks! This is only about his 3rd or 4th time building a playoff team and he'll do it again if you guys take a deep breathe. Or run him out of town and hope you get lucky with the next GM bc chances are he won't be as good as EG.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 20, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@Ray,

I have been down on CB since about the middle of last year. His attitude and game has stunk ever since. At least Jamison had the right attitude always. But, I haven't seen the same enthusiasm and hustle that we saw last night from this team since before the knee injury to GA.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"Or run him out of town and hope you get lucky with the next GM bc chances are he won't be as good as EG."

Relax man.

Right now EG is deeply tied to one Gilbert Arenas and that's not looking too good right now. Truth be told EG has never been a great "drafter" however saying that I would never want to play poker with that guy. He just doesn't flinch.

I'm still down on EG right now, he has a lot of making up to do.

Ted Leonsis is the key. Things will 100% improve around here when he takes over the team. I have no doubts on that.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 20, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

If Josh Howard eparts next year, I would like for us to draft Al-Farouq Aminu.

Posted by: ATLredskin | February 20, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"I have been down on CB since about the middle of last year."

I can't say that I am sad he's gone, or Haywood.

I've always thought McGee will be a really good starting center and still beleive that once he learns to do the small things that centers need to do.

Caron is now on his fourth team. That in itself should say something. Dallas won't be his last.

That "Shake and Bake" crap needed to go somewhere.

- Ray

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 20, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Love the way the new players do not need 20 shots to get 18-20 points. Howard was 8-11 for 20 points, Blatche was 8-13 for 18 points (could have easily had 20 points if play at all in the second half), and Thorton was 8-11 for 21 points. The only bad shooters last night were by McGee, Boykin and Miller (an unusually bad night for him). The trust to let the younger players shoot and play is already refreshing. Gone are the "selfish" excuses by the previous big 3 that they had to shoot at least 20 times because the other players did not know how "the game was played"! That was a bunch of bull to allow the previous big 3 to shoot at will to get their bogus averages! James Singleton actually has a nice shot and wish he would shoot more, but with his consistent rebounding and defense, scoring is just a bonus. It will be interesting to see how many of these players the Wizards will decide to keep next season. The Wizards can basically draft a whole College team with 4 draft picks next year.

Posted by: JohnWWW | February 20, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't Blatche play in the 4th quarter? Makes no sense considering how hot he was.

Posted by: brian71490 | February 20, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

If anything, this is showing what a moron Ernie truly is and how off-base he was with his "Big 3" philosophy.

Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 12:51 PM

Because Flip scolded him for shooting too much early in the game and the other guys went on a nice little run. End of story.

Posted by: artiesliver | February 20, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"Now this rag-tag group that he was essentially forced to assemble as a collateral necessity to blowing up the roster outperformed his precious "Big 3".If anything, this is showing what a moron Ernie truly is and how off-base he was with his "Big 3" philosophy.Posted by: p1funk"

I apologize for interfering with your gloat fest but don't you think we should watch some more games before passing judgment on the aforementioned ragtag group?

By the way, Haywood and Butler looked pretty good for Dallas last night.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse


Of course we should wait. I fully expect these guys to hit a nice losing streak.

They'll play hard b/c most of them are auditioning for contracts next year and they are an anomoly b/c no one knows what to expect from them, but eventually opposing teams will figure them out and the lack of talent will be evident.

My point is that what we saw last night does NOT validate Ernie Grunfeld.

What we saw last night was anti-Big-3 basketball.

Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Odd thing is, Al Thornton has been compared to stellar defenders such as, well, Antwan Jamison. He even made a point of that last night, suggesting he surprised Melo by getting in his face and interfering with his preferred spots. Josh Howard is the guy who's been known to play a little defense.

Be interesting to see how this plays out. And that's all i wanted -- to watch some good basketball games.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse


And that's what you get with a young guy who is capable of defending but has not been willing, yet is also ready to take input/coaching.

The difference with AJ and Gil are that AJ is not capable of defending (even if he's willing to try) and Gil is neither capable nor very willing nor open to much input/coaching on the matter.

Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Miller actually doesnt look as good when he's aggressively trying to get his own shot, the better play may to keep him draining open Js and facilitating for others as he has been all along.

Is this going to be a team with no starters? AB and JM saw nothing in the 2nd half last night after being showcased in the first 2 quarters. Do we have a group of youngs will just do what the coach says knowing their PT will now always be there as long as they hustle and play smart?

180 degree turnaround that would be!

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I bet Ernie is relieved as hell to see the energy and effort on the court now - and that is sad that the level of play from a bunch of "castoffs" in only 2 games seems 10x higher than that of the former starters that were traded away had shown in 2 years. I'm still not psyched about this new roster but 2 games in...things are looking a lot less dismal than a week ago.

Posted by: blackman1 | February 20, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

If anything, this is showing what a moron Ernie truly is and how off-base he was with his "Big 3" philosophy.

Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 12:51 PM

The Big 3 concept worked for four years. Grunfeld's problem was not recognizing their success had run its course and then compounding that oversight by overpaying to keep them here with major input/pressure from Abe Pollin, IMO. That's about as fair as I can be with regard to Grunfeld.

Posted by: artiesliver | February 20, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse


And I agree with that, though I think Ernie compounded the problem with some other pretty awful decisions along the way.

Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

My point is that what we saw last night does NOT validate Ernie Grunfeld.

What we saw last night was anti-Big-3 basketball.

Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 3:10 PM

How about if by the end of the season, AB/JM look like a stone cold LEGIT starting frontcourt? Does that validate EG?

AJ didnt play defense and Haywood didnt play offense...if we have 2 long, young, active players at PF/C who can defend and score....we are MUCH farther along in a rebuild than anyone would have predicated.

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Miller actually doesnt look as good when he's aggressively trying to get his own shot, the better play may to keep him draining open Js and facilitating for others as he has been all along.

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse


Miller seems like he's at his best being a "glue" guy on offense - passing/moving the ball, hitting open shots as a 3rd or 4th option, going after rebounds to keep possessions alive, etc.

Question is how much is a "glue" guy worth to you in free agency?

Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

How about if by the end of the season, AB/JM look like a stone cold LEGIT starting frontcourt? Does that validate EG?

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse


Not really. It would be nice to see that, but AB/JM were bit players and add-ons to the Big 3.

Clearly, Blatche needs to take some kind of feature role in the offense in order to be effective - that's just his game. No way that was happening with the Big 3.

Javale McGee...well...who knows WTH they've been doing with JM. I don't even know what to say on the matter.

Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

3yrs/$15mill? 2yrs/$13mill?

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for the game tonight!

High energy and ball movement is the key

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 20, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Before leaving for Washington on Thursday night, Billups made a comment that might explain the slight advantage the Wizards could have over the next few days.

"I don't even know who's on their team anymore," Billups told reporters in Cleveland. "How are we going to scout that?"

That's a good point. This team, as group, is a completely unknown variable to opponents. They'll have no idea how these guys fit together on the court, which makes game planning for them almost impossible. That'll change as they play more games and opponents get more tape on them, but considering how late in the season it is, the Wiz might be able to surprise some more teams and win a few games they probably shouldn't

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 20, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"Typical spin by DC_MANN. It was well known that Pollin thought that the "Big 3" were his last shot at a title before he died. Plus, AJ was his second favorite player to only Wes Unseld. If you don't think those desires had no implication on what EG did as GM then you are as delusional as DC_MANN.

Then DC you add in acquisitions and picks that EG did not even make all the while cherry picking the negative. How's Roger Mason doing now? He's barely playing last time I checked and definitely not doing much. But, yeah, man, he would have been all the difference.

Not to mention that you have no clue who is in charge of the training or medical staff. You're just talking out your azz. Abe Pollin, Mr. Loyal, may have his own doctors and trainers for all you know.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 20, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse "

Spin?

The only spinning is your head.

I never disagreed that Abe had an influence in re-signing MeTawn, and probably Gilby.

That's why I didn't mention them.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

As hard as it may be to imagine, McGee might actually be a worse low post offensive player than Haywood. His energy and athleticism are great, but ye gods, those "shots" he takes are an affront to the eyes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 20, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Miller seems like he's at his best being a "glue" guy on offense - passing/moving the ball, hitting open shots as a 3rd or 4th option, going after rebounds to keep possessions alive, etc.

Question is how much is a "glue" guy worth to you in free agency?


Posted by: p1funk | February 20, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

To me, not 9.75 mil let alone more. But of course, I'm not IRENE or ERNIE. ZEN-master...........!!!!

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

That's a good point. This team, as group, is a completely unknown variable to opponents. They'll have no idea how these guys fit together on the court, which makes game planning for them almost impossible. That'll change as they play more games and opponents get more tape on them, but considering how late in the season it is, the Wiz might be able to surprise some more teams and win a few games they probably shouldn't

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 20, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

It certainly is. Here's another post I made this morning on another blog.

"..........All true, but lest we put AL THORNTON into ALL-STAR status in the NBA lets wait a bit. The WIZARDS line-up isn’t set yet, let alone the substitution rotations. FLIP SAUNDERS just threw him out there with the new guys minus ROSS because of fouls to see what would happen. Magic cannot be captured in a bottle and used at one’s pleasure. What happened last night in the phone booth is akin to first meeting a special someone. When the magic begins to wear off the next few dates, you begin to see the pimples on the real person. Once somethings established in the way of offense and defense by SAUNDERS, the other teams will go to work on it, and AL may not become the world-beater you envision here. But then like that first magic, it might. The old ZEN-master in me says I’ll wait and we’ll see."

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

A cautionary note:
2 wins is nice, but it may not hold up long with the young guys fighting for playing time.

A positive note:
Last night's game was a lot of fun to watch.

A Troubling Thought:
Josh Howard might be wearing some old Juwan Howard Jerseys. #5? Seriously?

Posted by: gconrads | February 20, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think Ernie is responsible for drafting Jared Jeffries while working for the Milwaukee Bucks. Ramos and DMac were second round picks and I don't think DMac was a bomb. James wasn't a FA signing, neither was Chucky Atkins, Dee Brown got a minimum contract to be a 3rd string PG.

I don't think re-signing DeShawn was a bad move. His back going out and his level AFTER of play ruined that. I'll give you Etan...and Roger Mason? Who cares. He is of no significance. How many more games do they win last year with Mason? Does a 19 win team become a 20? Win team? Yeah sure. Great. Feel how you want about Arenas or whatever or his contract. The training and medical staff? Come on...you're getting desperate.

Just have your facts right.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 20, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse "

Get your facts straight.

EG clearly can't draft whether it's first round or 2nd round.

Also, his free agent acquisitions have bombed.

He just moved a lot of free agents he acquired just to get below the lux cap threshold.

What is clear, nevermind your BS, is that EG has failed miserably here.

His key acquisition of Caron, which people here used to harp about as the great american swindle, for Kwame didn't work out, and now Caron is gone.

His re-signing of MeTawn got stale, and now MeTawn is gone.

Gilby got max money, and then self destructed and imploded.

MeShawn shouldn't have been resigned, because he hasn't produced anything since he got resigned. Guess what? He's gone now too.

Oberto, who was the key big man acquisition this past offseason hasn't produced anything.

NY and DMac haven't done anything. DMac is gone.

OPech, whom GM kept saying was a gym rat and big man who can shoot, never showed anything and is gone.

Etan Thomas got his offer sheet matched, for $40 mil, and now he's gone.

Turnover at VC is worse than at a wh0rehouse near Tiger's house.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"Anthony had just scored 40 points the night before in a head-to-head matchup with LeBron James the night before. "

This sentence should read: "scored 40 points the night before in a head-to-head matchup with LeBron James the night before in a head-to-head matchup with LeBron James the night before in a head-to-head matchup."

See? Good grammar is available to all of us.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2010 5:59 AM

Pay attention to this rphill

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 20, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

So we are supposed to celebrate EG because he got rid of the players he signed and believed in??
If for one minute you believe he made the moves to bring in players to win, you are delusional. After failing to build a contender, EG had one thing in mind, and only one thing, which was to shed contracts to fatten up Irene's pockets, thus saving his job in the short term. In relevance to that mindset only, I say he did very well!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | February 20, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Gonna' miss the newbies tonight. Gotta' root on the SPIDERS. GO WIZ.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Can the Wizzies bring it again tonight???
No "Big 3" but a bunch of little guys that keep saying ...

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.I think I can......

Posted by: VBFan | February 20, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"BFD! He also had very few top picks. Why? Bc he assembled a roster that made the playoffs 4 straight years."

Half of NBA teams make the playoffs. That is a low bar. A higher one is advancing the playoffs, which they did only once. At any rate, a good GM should be able to find a starter in the mid-first round, at least once every other year.

"Some of you in here are just so obtuse and illogical. Who drafted our starting PF and C right now? Hmmmm...think real hard. Don't have an aneurysm! And that would be a 2nd rounder and a late first rounder. He sucks!"

They are starting because EG just traded the starting center and power forward away. Nice try, though.

"This is only about his 3rd or 4th time building a playoff team and he'll do it again if you guys take a deep breathe. Or run him out of town and hope you get lucky with the next GM bc chances are he won't be as good as EG."

2009 record: 19-63, 2010 record: 19-33. Combined record last two seasons: 38-96. Couldn't be much worse. As I said earlier, I do like the early returns from the recent trades. I do worry about Grunfeld's ability to draft and his undervaluing of draft picks. He went for the mediocre/sub-mediocre Foye and a decent glue piece - Miller - instead of swinging for the fences with Jenkins or Curry. And as most people in here have noted, completely whiffed on Blair and others in a deep second round. While Grunfeld can swing a good trade sometimes, he is also stubbornly Wes Unseld old skool, preferring proven vets over high-risk reward young-uns. I am of the belief that you have to pull the trigger when you have the number 5 pick, as it is a rare chance to get a special player. It is that sort of myopic conservatism that builds solid teams, but never great ones.

Posted by: SammyT1 | February 20, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The same people who were punch drunk on Gilby are now punch drunk on EG.

They are being argumentative just for the sake of being argumentative...or, they're just stupid.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"As hard as it may be to imagine, McGee might actually be a worse low post offensive player than Haywood. His energy and athleticism are great, but ye gods, those 'shots' he takes are an affront to the eyes."

Posted by: kalo_rama

Sorry, I have to disagree with you. McGee has looked rough, no doubt, but in my 30 years of watching hoops, no big has looked more awkward than Haywood making a 'post' move. Haywood would make a good power dribble into the lane, pump fake, go up with a hook.....and miss by four feet.

McGee at least has shown some touch around the basket. But he has a long way to go with his moves.

Posted by: ts35 | February 20, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

As for the rest of the team, I think eventually their overall lack of skill will catch up with them. But if they play the rest of the year as hard as they have been, and as a team, that'e enough for me for now.

Posted by: ts35 | February 20, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

GILBY supporters have become EG supporters. They are being argumentative just for the sake of being argumentative...or, they're just stupid.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Take your choice. Either gets you stupid.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Like the way the new guys are playing. Only thing is Earl Boykins sometimes hold the ball too long and causes eith forced shots or the offense to slow down. Flip needs to tell him to "PASS THE DAMN BALL EARL!!!"

Posted by: ivyleague | February 21, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

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