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Posted at 6:54 PM ET, 11/ 6/2010

Open thread: Wizards (1-3) vs. Cavaliers (2-3)

By Michael Lee

There won't be a dramatic reunion tonight at Verizon Center since Antawn Jamison will miss his third straight game with soreness in his left knee. With Jamison out and Gilbert Arenas limited to a 25-minute limit coming off the bench, there won't be any starters from those classic Cavaliers-Wizards playoff series from 2006-08 that will start tonight. The only players remaining on either side are Jamison, Arenas, Andray Blatche, Nick Young, Anderson Varejao and Daniel Gibson. John Wall may have generated some controversy with his dance moves before the home opener on Tuesday, but he responded on Saturday, saying, "First time playing at Verizon Center, I wanted to have a good time. Now it's back to the regular routine." Or is it? Cali Swag District, the group behind the hit single, "Teach Me How to Dougie," is expected to perform before the fourth quarter on Saturday. Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter with Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee). See your tweets here by using #wizards.

Tipoff: 7 p.m.; TV: CSN; Radio: 106.7 FM.


By Michael Lee  | November 6, 2010; 6:54 PM ET
 
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Next: Forget the "Dougie," Wizards need to learn how to win

Comments

surprisngly empty crowd but maybe not all that surprising

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 6, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Still early, they're still out in lobby buying beer and popcorn! They'll come rushing in as soon as they announce Gil into the game!

Posted by: zack5 | November 6, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Listen to that crowd now that Gil's about to check in!

Posted by: zack5 | November 6, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

did they get loud?

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 6, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Last night, Wizards lose big to Lebron's Supporting Cast 2.0

Tonight, Wizards losing to Lebron's Supporting Cast 1.0

The Wiz and the Nats, bringing a little Monday morning to your Saturday night.

I'm going to watch a movie.

Posted by: flynnie321 | November 6, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

HILTON ARMSTRONG IS A BUM. WHO CARES IF JAVALE IS MAKING SOME MISTAKES HES NOT AN OFFENSIVE THREAT. JUST A CLUMSY GUY WHO DESERVES TO BE IN THE D-LEAGUE

Posted by: masonkyle | November 6, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Head Coach wanted inquire with the Washington Wizards.

Where was Al Thornton in the 2nd half? Hilton Armstrong??? Flip Saunders is not the coach for this team.

Posted by: spades72 | November 6, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I dont get why Armstrong played so much. Am I blind that Thornton was playing better than anyone else was!? Why was Armstrong in there down the stretch instead of Thornton!? Explain this to me please!

Gil is rusty. We should of won this game. Im not sure when we play Cavs next, but i say give us a month and we beat them easy.

Howard will be a boost. I dont like the 3 guard, and hopefully Howard will end that. Hinrich played good tonight, but i hope Flip gets over his crush on him starting. He is ideal as the 3rd G.

But down the stretch I woulda gone Blatche, Thornton, Hinrich, Gil and Wall tonight that was our best shot. Let Blatche & Thornton inside w/ the 3 Gs. Once we had the lead, run & gun & trade baskets to the end, that was our shot.

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 6, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

@Darnell1 - you said it perfectly. Why was thorton not playing down in the 4th? Hilton Armstrong doesn't help at all. This team is not scrappy enough right now. That is way they lost. The Cavs wanted it more and went an took it it's that simiple.

Posted by: lemekdivine | November 6, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Head Coach wanted inquire with the Washington Wizards.

Where was Al Thornton in the 2nd half? Hilton Armstrong??? Flip Saunders is not the coach for this team.

Posted by: spades72 | November 6, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Spades 72 I agree. I do not agree with the 3 guard lineup. Al Thornton should have been in there. Why Hilton was in there I do not know. I do not know why Flip decided to bench McGee.

I will be glad when Josh Howard comes back because that will force Flip to stop playing that weak 3 guard lineup.......

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 6, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse


Our bench gave us nothing and their bench gave them plenty. Curious that Flip benched Thornton down the stretch, but I guess that's why Ernie pays him the big bucks, huh?

Posted by: and_1 | November 6, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Thornton the way he played tonight, he actually reminds me of Caron Butler.

Other Wiz... Wall reminds me of Jason Kidd, Arenas reminds me of Isiah Thomas, Blatche reminds me of Danny Manning, Yi acutally reminds me kinda of David Robinson though not sure why. McGee guess I can only come up w/ Kareem. Maybe Sampson in college. Nick Young reminds me of someone off the Fat Albert cartoon. Like his name would be Swoosh. Booker maybe an Antonio Davis type. NDiaye is Dikembe Mutombo lite.

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 6, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I will be glad when Josh Howard comes back because that will force Flip to stop playing that weak 3 guard lineup.......

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 6, 2010 9:38 PM

Leave it to Flip to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Posted by: and_1 | November 6, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Hilton and Yi have the worst hands. Alternatively, you can play Javale, but then he gives up offensive rebounds on missed free throws that lead to 3s that nearly erase a well-earned 5 point lead. What a killer.

Grunfeld picked McGee over Hickson. Simply put, that was a terrible decision.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | November 6, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

MeTawn wasn't in the game to fill a stat line, and Les BouleS still lost.

When JWow is in the game, it's more uptempo, the guys are hustling, and there's cutting and aggressive moves to the basket. When Gilby is in there too, there are more deliberate/predictable passes, a lot of standing around, and weak shots. One time, Gilby took the inbounds and instead of handing to JWow, he just dribbled past him. I don't know if these guys can coexist together.

I hope Grunfeld is enjoying these two back to back games.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 6, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Twitch just couldn't figure out who to sit so that AT could play in the 4th.
How about Gil and his 3/13, plus numerous to's and bungles down the stretch?
How about HA, for too many reasons to list.
How about JW who is a shadow of himself?
He is not finishing at the rim, is tentative with open shots, and was torched defensively.
No just punish JM, again. Yes he missed the rebound, and 2 free throws. But he hustled his keister off whenever Twitch saw it in himself to allow JM in the game.
Why not coach him up? Drop the jump outs, which only places our D on the defensive, and only succeeds in creating mismatches for us.
How about aggressive man on man D, and man up on the 3 shooters, who while you were neck twitching, have been killing us.
I'd rather they drive to the rim, than consistently nail open 3's. Of course you would need JM in the pivot, as he is the ONLY intimidator on the roster. Though not as much so on the pine.
It is way past time for a younger, aggressive coach. I agree that the successor is on the bench.

Posted by: mricklen | November 6, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Gilby and Marriot, -21 and -20, respectively, tonight.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=301106027

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 6, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Missed the game again, but heard Glen on the radio towards games end and afterwards lament the fact of why Thornton was not in the game down the stretch.

He said that Thornton was probably having the best game ever and he should have been on the floor down the stretch.

He also said that the 3-guard offense derailed the 4th quarter momentum. I guess that is when Thornton went to the bench.

Seems like Flip is dialing the same ole number and no one is answering.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 6, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Flip is really garbage sometimes isnt he?

Hinrich had a damn good game! Why not roll with the guard who is hot rather than forcing the 3 guard because you;re scared to bench Gil or the rook? Thronton was our leading scorer yet barely played in the 4th. How does that happen?

Dray had 15 boards. Javale had 10. Why did Hilton Armstrong play out the game?

Flip's too smart for a simpleton like me, I just dont get what his thought processes are sometimes

Posted by: divi3 | November 6, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, Flip is really garbage sometimes isnt he?

Hinrich had a damn good game! Why not roll with the guard who is hot rather than forcing the 3 guard because you;re scared to bench Gil or the rook? Thronton was our leading scorer yet barely played in the 4th. How does that happen?

Dray had 15 boards. Javale had 10. Why did Hilton Armstrong play out the game?

Flip's too smart for a simpleton like me, I just dont get what his thought processes are sometimes

Posted by: divi3 | November 6, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse "

The only logical answer is that they're trying to increase their lottery chances early in the season.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 6, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

VARAJO gets a rebound off a second foul shot miss and the CAV's convert a four point, then GA comes down court, and throws up an unhorrible quick shot....clang. CAVS rebound...........ball-game. Despite all the crap flying around this blog about how the coach sucked, who struck John, and who didn't do this or that, the fact is, we were in a position to win this game and let it slip away. The WIZZIES wet themselves again. They gotta' grow up as a team. There's quite a ways to go.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 6, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

The question is whether Mr. Leonsis will settle for the worst in people or will he make a change?

Will Ted sack an underperforming coach even though this Team isn't expected to be a playoffs contender this year?

With the way it appears Flip is coaching, he isn't any better from a results point of view than Tapscott was.

Do we ride a whole year with this?

LarryInClintonMD.`

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 6, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Watching the game, I saw some pretty poor defense and shot selection -- about par for the course with this team. I liked the plays where Wall fired passes to dudes coming off screens for open jumpers (think Hinrich)--it was like an guaranteed assist each time.

That being said...this team sucks because they focus entirely on their jumper game. Blatche was doing great on the boards but offensively, all he did was jack up shots -- you can see that in his FG% for the game and for the season. Gilbert resumed his usual strategy, which is also to jack up awful shots...although he did have some nice 3-pointers.

Wall might have been the only guy bothering to drive the lane, but he's still very new to the game and thus turns the ball over a lot and fails to convert lay-ups on fastbreaks.

If anything, the team's curse is more its total lack of depth on the bench -- the starters scored in double figures while Gilbert was the only bench player to have more than 3 points. I'd scream "WTF" at this but it's not that surprising when you have Yi (1st round bust) and Nick Young (all this fool does is jack up shots, without any rebounds or assists) as your contributors.

Folks, this is a long rebuilding project around Wall. McGee needs a few more years but you can see the raw talent there...you really can't see that with Nick Young, who I think winds up in a Clips uniform ASAP (closer to home for him). This team should shoot for the OKC Thunder model of drafting, just snag all the top talent the team can until it's stomping fools repeatedly. All it needs is a few more pieces...or maybe a LOT more pieces...

Posted by: Crunkenstein | November 6, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Do we ride a whole year with this?

LarryInClintonMD.`

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 6, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

With TED 'NO QUICK MOVES' LEONSIS? You bet.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 7, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

From everything I've seen, Flip Saunders blew this game by going with his three-guard lineup that everyone agrees is idiotic. Thornton had the hot hands tonight, not Gilbert Arenas. It's like going back to Ed Tapscott's days as coach where he would leave his veterans in when the team was getting blown out by 30.

Posted by: NWDC3 | November 7, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Missed the game again, but heard Glen on the radio towards games end and afterwards lament the fact of why Thornton was not in the game down the stretch.

He said that Thornton was probably having the best game ever and he should have been on the floor down the stretch.

He also said that the 3-guard offense derailed the 4th quarter momentum. I guess that is when Thornton went to the bench.

Seems like Flip is dialing the same ole number and no one is answering.
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Yeah, except this time Larry, the 3rd guard who shouldn't have been in there was Gilbert. It sounded like Buckhantz and Phil said early in the game that in Gil's 3 weeks off with injury, he gained 15 lbs. 15 lbs? He doesn't have it right now. He's good for stroking 3s right now and that's about it.

The only logic I can see to the 3-guard lineup in the 4th was that Cleveland was running it to with Mo, Boobie and Parker. But AT was the best Wizard player tonight, and they should have had him in there. Who between Mo, Boobie and Parker was going to stop him?

Our bigs were horrid on the pick and roll again. AB was totally inept and gave no effort on the P&R in the first half, but he picked it up in the second. McGee was a little uneven with it, but the best of the bunch. I have no idea wtf Hilton was doing on the P&R and not a clue wtf he was doing in the game late. The box score said he played 15mins, but it sure seemed a LOT longer, because it was so painful. Time after time he'd overplay to the wrong side. Beyond the P&R I have no idea what Hilton was doing half the time.

Sorry, Flip, I try to hold the middle ground and say that the players have to do it on the court, but tonight's on you. The players themselves botched it in the first half, but they climbed back in the third. Except for the last minute, I thought the 3rd was the best stretch of ball they've played this year. But Gil and Armstrong did not belong out there to close out the game, and as bad as they played, it's your fault for having them out there.

Posted by: ts35 | November 7, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Also. In addition to making all of this week's practices on P&R defense, I would like to ask that in their extra time, the coaches work with all the bigs, but most particularly Yi and Hilton on being strong with the ball. I don't know if I can take any more great Yi moves only to b left hanging when someone knocks the ball out of his hands before the big flush.

Posted by: ts35 | November 7, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Flip on not playing Thornton in 4thQ even though he was #wizards leading scorer and rolling: "I said to Al, 'I made a mistake.'"craigstouffer

Did Arenas dribble the ball off his leg?

Posted by: djnnnou | November 7, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Man, the bullets can't even beat the Cav on their home floor when LeBron isn't in the lineup? What are they going to do when he comes back? This is bullets basketball! Anybody who spends their welfare check watching this needs to have their funds cut via Obamaonics. Spend it on League Pass and watch basketball and not this crap. It's more democratic.

Posted by: jwing14 | November 7, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Flip on not playing Thornton in 4thQ even though he was #wizards leading scorer and rolling: "I said to Al, 'I made a mistake.'"craigstouffer

Did Arenas dribble the ball off his leg?

Posted by: djnnnou

Actually I believe on at least one occasion, yes, yes he did. The problem I see with Flip's comment, or at least his pattern, is that it means in their next game, Flip will play AT in the 4th to make up for it, even if AT is 3-15 in that game.

Posted by: ts35 | November 7, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

"Did Arenas dribble the ball off his leg?
Posted by: djnnnou"

LOL he does have some ball-handling issues. I was happy after the previous game that they hadn't been evident.

This to me was a very winnable game, but also a very evenly played one. I think people expect Cleveland to have a really rough season, and they will, but don't forget a number of these Cavs helped win 61 victories last year -- the NBA's best -- then smacked the Bulls 4 to 1 before that big upset to Boston. A disciplined team that plays good defense -- and they're playing pretty well now. This was their second road win in a row, right?

Another night, maybe the Wiz win that game. I think they're improving, in a two steps forward / one step back sort of way.
That's mostly what I'm looking for.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 7, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game with a pretty good vantage point and several things were apparent. Yi and Armstrong can't finish and had several point blank opportunities taht should have resulted in dunks in the last 5-6 minutes of the game. Both Blatche and Arenas are no where near top basketball shape, which will probably take a couple of weeks for both players. Blatche had several "iso" on the low block (as every one has been suggesting) but he had no lift or explosiveness.

Mental mistakes also killed this team with the "game changer" being the 4 point play off the missed rebound on the free throw late in the game.

Even though McGee blew the rebound you have to nhave him in the game because of your limited options down low. Thornton played his butt off and should have been in the game. And as big a critic of Hinrich, I will give hinm his props, he played well (easily his best game of the year). Lastly, Byron Scott has his team playing hard and tenaciously, there was a noticeable difference in the disposition of the Cavs and the Wizards.

Posted by: NewManagement | November 7, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

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