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The unmerciful month of March

The Wizards haven't caught many breaks this season, and they certainly didn't get one from the schedule maker (and Mother Nature) in March. They will start the month in Milwaukee against the Bucks, then turn around and host them on Friday, kicking off a grueling stretch that will see the Wizards play 17 games in 29 days. They will have 11 road games, including a West Coast trip in the middle of the month, four back-to-back sets and one back-to-back-to-back set.

The most punishing part of the month has the Wizards playing five games in six days, starting on March 11, when they host the Atlanta Hawks. They will play in Detroit the next night, host Orlando the next night, then leave for Utah, where they will kick off a back-to-back set against the Jazz and Denver Nuggets. Remember, the Wizards had to fit in that Atlanta game after the blizzard postponed the Feb. 6 contest at Verizon Center.

It's not just that the Wizards will have several games packed into tight space; they are playing some of the toughest teams in the NBA. They only have four games against teams with losing records -- Detroit, Indiana and Charlotte. But the Bobcats (28-30) are in contention for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Also, Charlotte and Indiana already have two wins over the Wizards this season. And Detroit is 3-0 against the Wizards.

The other teams -- Milwaukee, Boston, Houston (twice), Atlanta, Orlando, Utah (twice), Denver, Portland, the Los Angeles Lakers, and New Orleans Hornets -- have a combined winning percentage of .608 (366-235). The Wizards have wins over Milwaukee (two), Orlando (two), Denver and Portland, so their overall record against that group is 6-6, which isn't too bad. But when thrown into this grinding schedule, it could get ugly.


By Michael Lee  |  March 3, 2010; 3:24 PM ET
 
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Comments

is unmerciful like merciless????????

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 3, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see if Blatche will continue his improved play against stiffer competition. I say it's a good test.

Posted by: thecomedian1 | March 3, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

partly cloudy, partly sunny

Posted by: MikeNelmsReturns | March 3, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

what should EG do. Tank for the lottery or play hard in this unforgiving schedule to be outlebroned...again.

Posted by: jefferu | March 3, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

the actual number of wins for this group isn't very important aside from giving them the confidence to keep playing like they're going to win, there is much more value in simply seeing what these young guys can bring to the table, so far the results have been very encouraging with a team that seems eager to help the next guy more so than looking for their own ppg, blatche while taking the lion's share of shots has also been exceptional at using a quick interior pass to find an easy bucket, particularly with javale, there should be some really ugly moments but compared to the squad we were running out there earlier this year watching this unit is like dating the prom queen

Posted by: bford1kb | March 3, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

there should be some really ugly moments but compared to the squad we were running out there earlier this year watching this unit is like dating the prom queen

Posted by: bford1kb | March 3, 2010 3:54 PM

post of the month right there

Posted by: divi3 | March 3, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

To the Dray doubters:

If AB continues playing at a high level and the team is around .500 this month- does he get his due from y'all?

Posted by: divi3 | March 3, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

From the excellent ESPN article cited in the previous thread:

"This is how the NBA differs from any other professional sport. In a league with 12-man rosters, in which only five guys can play at once, you're really only as good as your franchise guy. If you don't have one, you're screwed."

That's the Wizards, if they have to pay Gil's salary for several more years. You can't get a true franchise guy until the Wiz franchise guy slot opens up. If a buyout can't happen, then the upside of any future Wiz team seems very limited for several years out. Does anyone disagree with this?

Posted by: EdDC | March 3, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Here is the ESPN link, for those who missed it:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/100224

Posted by: EdDC | March 3, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

To the Dray doubters:

If AB continues playing at a high level and the team is around .500 this month- does he get his due from y'all?

Posted by: divi3 | March 3, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse
__________________________
Its amazing what you can do if you are not running around with poop in your shoes... WHO KNEW?

Posted by: junkmail0153 | March 3, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I disagree in that if you have drafted a franchise-type player, their salaries arent too bad for several years. That's why the hopes of this franchise rest on the continued bad-assness of Dray and the development of Mcgee. These guys are 7footers under contract and on the cheap, neither of whom has to be CASHED until gil's stupid deal is almost done.

If AB fizzles and Mcgee doesnt develop, we are screwed for several years

Posted by: divi3 | March 3, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

EdDC

Arenas is gone, and EG is not far behind.

What happened here this year is unacceptable to any professional organization.

Posted by: Izman | March 3, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The Poll says the majority of people have the Wiz winning 6 to 8 this month. WHICH six games look winnable? I'm a huge fan, but this team will struggle to win 2 games between now and coming back from the West Coast and maybe get 2 more when they get back. Anything else? COMPLETELY Unrealistic. Sorry. Love you guys! lol

Posted by: truesense | March 3, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

AB is playing with out a good help from his side.He already passed his expectation.
He is balancing the game,his points might go down but he will demand double teaming, it will be up to the coach to call for others in this situation.I will remain happy as long as he take high percentage shoots and play team game which he is doing it for the last 7 games.

Posted by: gtefferra | March 3, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

If they lose and play like they have been playing I don't care. It's at least interesting to watch the young guys strut their stuff a bit and I bet they surprise a few teams along the way. The only thing I worry about is having so many guys that aren't used to these minutes they are getting. The blisters are gonna be popping....

Posted by: LaureninGlenBurnie | March 3, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

If Ernie was a genuis he would have told Etaps to play the young guys last year!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 3, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Bring em on!

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 3, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

If Ernie was a genuis he would have told Etaps to play the young guys last year!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 3, 2010 5:04 P Report abuse


Did you take your nap? Etaps played the young guys last year, so Ernie's genius status is intact!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | March 3, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

you're really only as good as your franchise guy. If you don't have one, you're screwed."

The Wizzies don't have one and won't have one when Gilbert comes back.

Look who is gonna be in the Playoffs.
Who's gonna go deep?
Raptors?
Bulls?
Trail Blazers?

If you don't have a Kobe, Labron, Dirk, Carmello, or a Garnett. get ready for a longer off season.

Mr. Stern gotta try to figger out how to get some parity ala the NFL or empty seats will become the norm.


Posted by: VBFan | March 3, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Did you take your nap? Etaps played the young guys last year, so Ernie's genius status is intact!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | March 3, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Ernie must have been napping through all of the 40 mins of AJ on the floor last year and then explain why he signd Oberto if he knew McGee could play?

Why were they sitting on the bench this year?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 3, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Did you take your nap? Etaps played the young guys last year, so Ernie's genius status is intact!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | March 3, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse
which young guys do you speak of????????????NY was getting dickedaround. Blatche was playing C or logging very few mins at the 4. McGee did get some run. But for the most part last season was like this season up until the break.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 3, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I would have found the challenge of the March schedule more interesting if Howard hadn't been lost for the year.

As it is, wins or losses don't matter to me. Just whether the effort to improve is there.

I've been hard on Foye this season, but the last two games he's been better. I don't know why he won't attack the darn basket more.

Here's to hoping Livingston getting practice time and Singleton getting time to recover from the sprained foot pays some dividends.

Posted by: bozomoeman | March 3, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Blatche, McGee, Young and Pech all played meaningful minutes last season. Granted, Blatche was more often than not playing out of position at the center position but he did play more minutes after Eddie Jordan's departure.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | March 3, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Who the heck said 6-8 games???

Reality is going to set in this month. I was hoping that the Wiz could win a bunch of games they lost(NY was one of them) but the next month they have all the teams that are making a playoff push.

Again, if they just play hard I will be happy. Maybe they win a few if they catch someone off guard, or like they did Denver when they were on the second night of a back to backer.

I think it's going to be a long month...

Just play hard guys, we appreciate it.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | March 3, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

no posts everyday at this hr,erybody's driving home from work or doin tha family thang. Sux that i live 5 mins from my job and come home to espn and my 2yr old. i be on here waitin for you guys to come back round game time.


ps. doesn't suck to come home with my kid he's the best.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 3, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who thinks there was any structured playing time for Blatche and McGee last year are seriously delusional.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Even though Flip starts the game with both Blatche and McGee on the floor, he does not appear to be committed to having them both playing together for major minutes.

He appears to think that as the game plays out it is okay to have one or the other playing center.

I would submit that is a flawed strategy.

It weakens the inside play of the Team and also makes Blatche less effective.

What is Flip's problem?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 3, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

the original argument was more so why would you trade 2 players that play for us for Eric Maynor. I think he'll be good, but thumping that 24 pt 3 asst game ( Gil would get killed for that) doesn't sway me very much. I admit i haven't seen much from maynor, but i don't know if he's worth two players especially if Gil comes back.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 3, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I said trade NY and Something...not necessarily a player. Anyway, it was 24 pts, 4 assts and 3 rebounds, so a pretty well rounded game for the first month of a rookies career (and against Cleveland, to boot).

If we can have Deron, I say go for it.

but OKC basically paid $11 million for Maynor, though (the price of harprings salary)...so at least they and Utah thought he was worth that.

I think he would surprise most folks here. he is quiet, but teh guy gets 2 starts, cold, as a rookie and averages 18 pts, 7.5 boards and 3.5 rebounds...then comes out the next night off the bench and gets 15 pts, 6 asst and 4 boards...got to give him some credit. He could do more than what we have here now.

Posted by: Blurred | March 3, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Who the heck said 6-8 games???

Reality is going to set in this month.
I think it's going to be a long month...

Posted by: rmcazz | March 3, 2010 6:01 PM

I said 6-8, but 5-6 is more like it. Not only are the opponents tough and motivated, it's just too many games in too short a time. Five in six nights! Anybody would struggle with that, and the Wiz are short-handed. Just do your best given the circumstances, guys.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 3, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

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