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Posted at 7:59 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Open thread: Wizards (13-33) at Mavericks (31-15)

By Michael Lee

Coach Flip Saunders reminded his team that it defeated the Dallas Mavericks when the Wizards were in town for a preseason game on Oct. 5. "Let's hope we can repeat," Saunders said. Trevor Booker will get the start at small forward for the third consecutive game and JaVale McGee will come off the bench after being out of action for the past five games. Booker is averaging 12 points and 9.5 rebounds in four starts this season. The Wizards are 0-4 in those games since all of those starts were on the road.

Let the conversation begin in the thread below. You can also 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. Check out a live box score from tonight's game here.

By Michael Lee  | January 31, 2011; 7:59 PM ET
Categories:  JaVale McGee, Trevor Booker  
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Next: Wizards keep fighting...and losing on the road

Comments

"JaVale McGee will come off the bench after being out of action for the past five games."-Michael Lee

Only the Washington Post would promote a guy to columnist who demonstrates time and again his total incompetence as a writer. Javale McGee has been out the past 2 games, not the past 5.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 31, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I called it. I wrote this on 2 other Wiz sites last night:


I wrote this on 2 other Wiz sites last night:


Am I the only one thats really really reallly looking forward to that NY vs Stevenson matchup? I think thats going to be awesome and both will play mad hard against eachother. Not as good but I also want to see Wood vs McGee.

Call me crazy but I honestly wouldnt be shocked to see Flip atleast for this 1 game tryout have an excuse to bring McGee off the bench because he's just coming back with the flu and he likes the matchup of Dray against Chandler & having Booker on Dirk. I could see that. Then we would have McGee matched up against Wood off the bench. If it works and we win then Flip may stay like that for awhile but if we lose then McGee starts the next game. Doubt if it happens but I wouldnt be shocked to see it go down that way.

Then hopefully we can add that to a return of Josh Howard. I honestly wouldnt mind seeing our same starting lineup with Dray & Booker and then come off the bench with Kirk, Josh, Al, & McGee in a 9 man rotation. I love it. That 2nd unit is vetran & tough while McGee will kill most backup centers and can bring that energy off the bench.

Dray isnt quick enough this year so I actually think it would help him alot Offensively to be at the 5 because he can still blow by them. Booker can play well off the bench but I think he's one of those guys that would be more productive starting while I think McGee might actually be more productive off the bench. Role with that 9 man rotation one game and see what we look like Flip

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Then today we see what Flip said about McGee coming off the bench. Im telling you this isnt about bringing Javale off because of rust or whatever. He wants to see how it really looks. He likes Dray on O against the 5's and Booker's overall toughness while he's said all year that McGee may not be ready to start. He wants to see how this looks. Ofcourse it doesnt mean much but a look. If either Dray or Book stinks it up or we lose like crap again then Flip will probably go back the next game but if it works well like I think it could then I could see him staying with this

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Dray's J has been so off lately. He has to hit that tonight when he's at the 5 because there Centers will back way off him. He still shouldnt settle though. He can go by them

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

man I promise you I was thinking about that Booker-Dirk matchup and saying that he's so short that he's going to have to get up to contest it but Dirk has the best pump fake in the league for a big so I hope Booker figures it out and doesnt get into foul trouble

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

McGee's IQ has looked mad low already. NY has fallen off alot the last 2 games. Its like his ego is getting big now and he thinks he's a Superstar. Looks like the old NY, playing with blinders. Dray & NY have to find that J or it wil hurt us bad. If they do then we can win some games including this one. We matchup well with them I think

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Man our P&R defense looks so bad lately that Im actually wishing that we had EJ's crew teaching us how to deffend it....lol

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Why not use NY in the post agaiinst Terry? Flip doesnt know what to do

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Again Flip's backwards Offense. No matter if its NY, Dray, or whoever. We never go into the post and then when we finally do he gives it to them on the right block so they are using there off hand. Why Flip, Why? Give it to the guys on the left block on there strong hand so they have way more options

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

NY still playing that great man D though.

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

again, Ive been noticing more stand still picks lately which is allowing Wall to get to the rim.

I dont care what anyone says about his J. Westbrook has a horrible J but I watch there O and the way they set there picks and run the P&R and its night & day from us. He can split it or do anything. Give wall that option and he'll dominate on O.

There guys set stand still picks and dont move until RW makes a move to go by them while our guys jet before Wall even gets there. Hopefully its changing a bit

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

They are playing well, so far so good. Good team ball defense.

Posted by: bullwiz81 | January 31, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

@dlts2041

You are right. I know I always talk about JW needs to find his J but when they stand stlii on the pick and roll when he is usually at the right elbow, he gets right to the rim.

Posted by: bullwiz81 | January 31, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

@dlts2041

You are right. I know I always talk about JW needs to find his J but when they stand stlii on the pick and roll when he is usually at the right elbow, he gets right to the rim.

Posted by: bullwiz81 | January 31, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I really like the way the bench is jumping up, celebrating, and supporting the guys on the floor. That also tells me that they will play harder when they get back in, atleast I hope so

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Ill kill Dray if he shoots that long J one foot inside the 3pt line like he is a SG. Man he has to play bigger then that

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Thats it Dray. Dont settle.

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Dray is getting on my nerves with all those jumpers! He was backing down Cardinal easy. He is such a mismatch problem for teams and he doesn't take advantage of his skill set enough.

Posted by: bullwiz81 | January 31, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

go to NY in the post every single time against Terry

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

It's still pretty early, but the most encouraging sign is that personal foul total. We might even keep the FTs reasonably even... makes a difference in the late stages.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 31, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

NY has made 3 in a row and has Terry on him but Flip goes to 4 other guys on the last 4 trips. Give the ball to NY in the post

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Meltdown on approach.

Posted by: bullwiz81 | January 31, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

way to sub NY after he just made a few FT's and we ran a iso play for him in the post against Terry. I understand the rest but I think he was filling good right there and wanted Terry in the post

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

that shouldve been an and1 ref

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

lol.......already in the penatly before we even get under 9min. IDK if Ive ever seen that before, espically in the 4th

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I keep saying it. If they are going to leave Terry in and leave him on NY then Flip should iso him on one side of the floor "in the post". Thats easy to see

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

The kill me with the way the quit. Keep playing on and stop worrying abiut the refs. Even though they are calling fouls left and righon the wiz.

Posted by: bullwiz81 | January 31, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Very good TO by Flip. We arent out of this game but after Dirk threw the ball out of bounds I saw all our guys walk slowly up the court with there heads hanging. Like they have no heart or will. Like they had already given up.

I think Flip saw that also and he's probably trying to pump them up now and tell them that they can still win it

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

great TO by Flip. Definitely more enthusiasm out of the TO. Wall has the worst J ever but he always makes that crazy hope 3 with the clock winding down. Half to get the board when you get a stop

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 31, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Show fight and anything is possible. Keep it going guys. Always trying to come back though.

Posted by: bullwiz81 | January 31, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Meltdown in 3,2,1...

Posted by: bullwiz81 | January 31, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I hate, hate, hate using the refs as an excuse...

...but the refs lost this game for the Wizards. I have never seen a more poorly reffed game. Every time the Wizards pushed themselves to the brink of a full comeback, the refs gave it right back to the Mavs either with a reverse foul call (moving screen on Mahinmi changed to a 4-point play for the Mavs) or a goaltending that shouldn't have been, or a ball that went out of bounds but was allowed to stay in play turning into a 3 point play for the Mavs.

The Wizards played far from perfect, but they outplayed the Mavs in this one. The refs can't get us every time; keep playing like this, we'll be ending this road losing-streak very soon.

Posted by: psps23 | January 31, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

AGAIN!!!!!! John "Choke" Wall misses critical free throws just like he did against the Thunder, the kid is overmatched on most night's and would have been better served staying at Kentucky for at least another year maybe two he has no jump shot and against the better guards in the league Wall looks average. The Wizards desperate for a savoir picked Wall to sell tickets and create a buzz in DC to compensate for Flip's ineptitude and Grunfeld's history of stupidity as a GM. John Wall is a good kid and has a very bright future i just think he was rushed into this league.


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Posted by: dargregmag | January 31, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

disgraceful performance from blatche

Posted by: slick3 | January 31, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I will never understand the stupidity of some fans.

John Wall looked like the best player on the court tonight. Not Dirk, not Kidd; John Wall. He ran the floor like a general, did not turn the ball over (except for some dubious charge calls which were, for lack of a better term, questionable), was explosive in transition, was poised in the half-court, and consistently found his teammates for open looks. Defensively, he was strong against Kidd and Terry (combined to go 10-25 from the floor).

Wall has had some poor performances in his rookie season, but this was not one of them. It was about as far as you could get from it. If Young and Blatche didn't go 10-37 from the floor missing some wide open looks, Wall could have set a career high in assists tonight.

One thing is for sure: he is an absolute stud in the making. I'm baffled by some of the comments I read on here sometimes.

Posted by: psps23 | January 31, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

The more I watch, the more I think the Sports Illustrated analysis had it right: the home court advantage is simply a matter of calls. Doesn't even matter which sport -- football, baseball, hockey, soccer as well as b-ball. And the bigger or noisier the home crowd, the more marked the probable advantage.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 31, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

A solid defensive effort, they kept their composure down the stretch, and were still in the game until the refs blew that call. Hate to see a game end that way.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 31, 2011 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I do think once fans calm down a little, they'll begin to recognize what Wall accomplished tonight. 17 points, 10 assists, 2 turnovers and a steal -- that's the sort of line that wins games.

You know Jason Kidd wanted to teach him a lesson. Instead Jason wound up outside launching 3 point attempts -- 7 of them. Any defense will take that.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 1, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Putting this on the refs is a cop-out . . . if the Wizards had hit their free-throws tonight, they would have won . . . but the refs genuinely sucked tonight. The blown call with the ball bouncing over the back-board in the final minute was icing on the cake. On the flip-side if the Wizards had built on their first half lead, I think that they might have gotten some more favorable calls down the stretch.

The refs matrix on borderline calls seems to go:

1. League star? (if yes, call foul in stars favor)
2. Playing on the Home Court? (if yes . . .)
3. Winning by a large point margin?
4. Did I place a wager on this game?

The Wizards may not have gotten win, and you can't be satisfied with a loss, but the team didn't quit tonight. They made Dallas work for the win. That's a start.

Posted by: JPRS | February 1, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

"AGAIN!!!!!! John "Choke" Wall misses critical free throws just like he did against the Thunder, the kid is overmatched on most night's and would have been better served staying at Kentucky for at least another year maybe two he has no jump shot and against the better guards in the league Wall looks average. The Wizards desperate for a savoir picked Wall to sell tickets and create a buzz in DC to compensate for Flip's ineptitude and Grunfeld's history of stupidity as a GM. John Wall is a good kid and has a very bright future i just think he was rushed into this league.Posted by: dargregmag

Wow -- speaking of stupid...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 1, 2011 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Although Wall would have benefited from another year in school -- as would most young players. But the courts have suggested the alternative is to let them come into the league directly out of high school, and that's an even bigger jump.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 1, 2011 12:31 AM | Report abuse

The question isn't so much: Would a year of college ball have helped John Wall more in his first NBA season?

It's: Will entering the NBA after only one year in college stifle Wall's long-term development and potential as player in the NBA?

We can never know for certain, but there are plenty of examples of excellent NBA players who entered the NBA after senior year of high school or after only one year in college (Durant, LeBron, Garnett, etc, etc, etc).

It's heresy though for a Wizards fan to say: "I wish Wall had opted for the 2011 draft instead of 2010," because that's like saying the Wizards would have been better off selecting Evan Turner and letting Wall be drafted by someone else in 2011.

Beyond dumb.

Posted by: JPRS | February 1, 2011 2:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it is stupid to say that John Wall's game could have been better served with more time in college. I don't it is stupid to point out that his jump shot is terrible right now and that on most nights he's been out played. Should he have been the one pick? No doubt. But he was advertised with a lot of hype and so far it has not yet materialized. Anyway, he is having a decent year but it is going to take a couple of years before he becomes a game changer.

Posted by: spades72 | February 1, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

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