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Open thread: Wizards (2-6) vs. Raptors (2-8)

By Gene Wang

The Washington Wizards have lost four of five entering tonight's game, which will be the team's first this season without rookie sensation John Wall. The No. 1 overall pick has a sprained left ankle incurred in Saturday's 103-96 loss at Chicago, and Coach Flip Saunders declared him out this morning. Wall leads the Wizards and all rookies in points and assists as well as the NBA in steals.

"John made a lot of improvement from yesterday to today," said Saunders, adding he was not sure if Wall would accompany to team to Boston for tomorrow's game. "There was even thought this afternoon he might be able to give it a go, but he can't so we'll just have to kind of wait and see where it's at."

Wall's absence opens the door for Gilbert Arenas to get his first start this season. The three-time all-star had been coming off the bench in his first five games. Against the Bulls, he made 7 of 10 three-pointers to finish with 30 points, by far his best showing after a pair of games in which he combined to shoot 3 for 21.

Also out for the Wizards will be reserve center Yi Jianlian, who hyperextended his right knee and bruised a bone during a collision with Chicago's Luol Deng. Yi had been averaging 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. He also had a career-high six blocks against Charlotte on Friday.

"Book of course will get more time, which of course he did when Yi went down," Saunders said, referring to rookie forward Trevor Booker. "It might be an opportunity for Kevin [Seraphin] to see his first minutes of the season."

Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter and see your tweets here by using #wizards.

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


By Gene Wang  | November 16, 2010; 6:55 PM ET
Categories:  Gilbert Arenas, John Wall, Yi Jianlian  
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Next: Wizards hopeful Wall will play tonight

Comments

Weems looks great on offense. Turns out he was drafted by the Bulls in the second round '08... they could use him now, too.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 16, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

How about the Wiz!? granted it is against the Raptors. Maybe J Wall should come off the bench!

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 16, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Nice bounce back effort. Good contributions pretty much across the board. Even the guy I tend to kill the most this season, Hilton Armstrong, had a good game.

Plus a little extended run for Booker!

Posted by: ts35 | November 16, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

And Seraphin and N'Diaye sightings!

Posted by: ts35 | November 16, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse


How about the Wiz!? granted it is against the Raptors. Maybe J Wall should come off the bench!

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 16, 2010 8:45 PM

Still waiting to see if Wall and Arenas can play well together. If Wall is ready to play tomorrow, would Flip dare sit Arenas and start Hinrich?

Posted by: tgif11 | November 16, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The only bad thing about this game is how great Kirk played. Despite how good Gil looked, Kirk played so well that Flip may still keep starting him. I hate Flip because its like he's making some fans root against Kirk when he's actually playing really well. Just put him on the bench like he was supposed to be. If Flip puts Gil back on the bench when Wall comes back or goes 3 small guards again, then I will kill him

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 16, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

gilbert arenas +24...

Posted by: anamarialiliana1 | November 16, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Great win! Gil's all around game is looking really good. He is definiely doing better on defense.

Posted by: ptp09 | November 16, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Nice all around game by Gil and the Wiz.

Posted by: ptp09 | November 16, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

"The only bad thing about this game is how great Kirk played. Despite how good Gil looked, Kirk played so well that Flip may still keep starting him. I hate Flip because its like he's making some fans root against Kirk when he's actually playing really well. Just put him on the bench like he was supposed to be. If Flip puts Gil back on the bench when Wall comes back or goes 3 small guards again, then I will kill him

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 16, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse "

You're clearly fighting some inner demons.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 16, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Went to the game tonight.

Gil looked good. I wish he would accept a "Jeff Malone" type role for this team. He would really thrive there.

I know Blatche is getting points, but dude is dirt slow on pick and rolls and turns the ball over WAY too much.

Hinrich sucks, sorry. They need to tell him to run the offense and not shoot the ball. He's a good player to come off of the bench for about 3 mil a year, but not for what he is making now.

Nice to see Booker get some minutes. He was shaky to start but finished pretty well.

All around nice win however. I'm 2 for 2 on the wins this year!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | November 16, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Do we really need the twitter thing every single game day? It doesn't provide any extra info at all really.

Posted by: amorris525 | November 16, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Ray,
Not only does Blatche get points, but he also rebounds pretty well and he knows how to dish it. Also, I'm not a Hinrich apologist, but i would not go as far as saying he sucks. Not only did he run the offense, but he dished the ball well and hit some big shots while playing good defense. I agree that i definitely want him coming off the bench and Gil starting. After watching this game i see why it's a tougher decision for flip.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 17, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Gil Is Good But Could Be Great If......


he got over the mental hurdle of finishing at the rim. He's doing every single thing else way but from a scoring standpoint he is still dependant on his jumpshot. He's not getting to the line, isnt attacking the rim as much as he should, and when he does he either passes or doesnt go as hard which makes him miss or not get the call. Now you can talk about the injuries and he's obviously not the same athelete as he was but its still not an excuse because he is far from a gimp. Its all mental.

1st off think about all the Offseason stories about Gil playing with All Stars, looking unstoppable, driving to the rack non stop, and having numerous dunks. We always chalk it up to just Offseason street ball but I dont think thats the case anymore. I see a few signs that suggest otherwise. 1 is that his touch around the rim is back. The shot isnt going in but its very soft now. The last couple of years he was badly missing layups and the shot would hit hard off the backboard every single time. Now they are softly just spinning out.

The other thing is that he's getting more & more burst every game. He'll never be what he was or be a John Wall but these last few games and the Raptors game in particular, I saw some plays where he looked mad quick driving the ball but he rarely looked for the rim or took off alot of gas when he got there. Last but not least and the main reason why I feel that its mental is because of his rebounding. Have you been watching him? Forget the numbers he's getting but look how he gets them. He's getting way up. He's jumping over 7 footers alot of times. He'll come through the crowd with no worries and sky up for a board, yet on the Offensive end he's timid at the rim & barely leaves the ground. That crap is mental.

Gil got 20 tonight and played a very good all around game but that shouldve easily had been a 30pt game and dont tell me that its better for him to do all around stuff. He can do both, just like Wade or whoever. Im just saying that it shouldve been 30 because if he attacks more & goes to the rack like he goes for boards then he's back to getting to the line 8 times per game, espically with Wall pushing the rock. Not only that but the guy is literally probably P4P the strongest guy in the league right now. Look at him going for boards or look at him when he drives & bumps into someone. No one is stronger. He's mad powerful and guys are bouncing off him.

You get Howard back & coming off the bench while getting Dray more healthy then this team is very good if Gil just adds that final mental hurdle and yes it is mental. He gets that back and he will look unstoppable out there. Just throw caution to the wind Gil and go at the rack, jump high like you do on the boards, and try to finish. Its all mental. Dont get it twisted though. I know its early and he's just getting back so he can definetly get there but someone just needs to tell him about it also.

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 17, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

rmcazz, you have to cut Dray some slack after missing the whole Summer with the broken foot. He's still working his way back & is obviously getting hurt like every single game. Every game he gets banged up and starts immediatly looking slower. That will stop when he gets in shape

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 17, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Wall is faking his injury so NY can get some playing time?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 17, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Awesome post dlts2041! Thanks! I listened on the radio on the way back from work, and Dave and Glenn were having some fun! But for those of us who didn't get to see the game, a post like yours really educates.

Posted by: flynnie321 | November 17, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

@ dlts2041

You make some very good points about Gil but I still think Gil will realize the impact that he's capable of and eventually return to his pre knee injury form. I look at Gil's situation similar to Mike Vick's in the way that nobody wanted to touch him but once he return to his game changing form, the contract won't make that much of a difference. Everyone had a chance to sign Vick (Redskins included!) but the Wizard's control Gil's destiny and the real question is would they really trade him if he returned to his "Bull Playoff Killing" form? I'm not saying that Wall should come off the bench but the Wizards are more active with Gil in the starting line up playing with confidence. Yeah it was the Raptors but this wasn't a close game nor one of those games they struggled to win! When was the last time the Wizzy's cleared the bench so everyone can get some PT?

Posted by: zack5 | November 17, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse

@ DC_MAN88
I barely noticed you!

gilbert arenas +24...

Posted by: anamarialiliana1 | November 16, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zack5 | November 17, 2010 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Will the real leader of the team, please stand up. I see you Gilbert. Standing tall and looking good. "You ought to be in hollywood."

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 17, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Being a leader is a strange thing. We can pick and choose all we want and name captains all we want, but when the tar meets the road, when the grits are done, when the bacon is fried, you won't have to question who the real leader, he will always be there for all to see.

John Wall may be good, the best rookie phenom in while, but he ain't the leader of this team just yet. On the come, probably most definitely, but my boy, your boy, the one that some want to hate, is the true and real leader of this Team.

King Gill. Hooaah!!!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 17, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

You know, I always find those comments that allude too, its only just the Raptors, its only just so and so, so don't be talkin like the team actually did something.

Well, aren't you supposed to look good against a lesser opponent. So, if you did in fact look good, why does it have to be any less than looking good?

Its only just the Raptors, well hell, don't play the game, just pencil in a win for Wizs, think the Raps might like that.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 17, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

@dlts2041

I think for Gil it's 'mental' right now only because of the physical aspect. He said after the game he still doesn't quite have the explosiveness back that he feels like he had this summer. The times he has tried to attack, he has run into issues. But I think he is slowly but surely getting the physical part back, and once he starts having a bit more success, you'll see him attack more often.

Posted by: ts35 | November 17, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

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