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Posted at 5:14 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Open thread: Wizards (13-35) vs. Magic (31-19)

By Michael Lee

The Wizards will look to end a six-game losing streak as they welcome back Gilbert Arenas for the first time since dealing him to Orlando on Dec. 18. The Magic has won the first two meetings this season, routing the Wizards, 112-83, in the season opener and barely winning the second-matchup, 100-99, as Arenas scored a season-high 31 points. The Magic has gone 15-10 since dealing for Arenas and acquiring Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu from Phoenix, while the Wizards are 7-17. JaVale McGee is expected to play after suffering a jammed toe in practice on Thursday. Hamady Ndiaye was recalled from the Wizards' D-League affiliate in North Dakota. Josh Howard returned to practice on Thursday but will not play.

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  | February 4, 2011; 5:14 PM ET
Categories:  Gilbert Arenas  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Nick Young wants to beat "big brother" Gilbert Arenas
Next: Wizards bring back Hamady Ndiaye

Comments

Hamady Ndiaye was recalled from the Wizards' D-League affiliate in North Dakota. Josh Howard returned to practice on Thursday but will not play.

Fat lot of good that's going to do the WIZ this evening. Going to see my grandson ball on his h.s. team instead. Later.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 4, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Forget Egypt, send Anderson Cooper to Dakota (North? South?):
"The Dakota Wizards announced today that they have acquired guard Javaris Crittenton (6-5 200, Georgia Tech) out of the NBA Development League player pool. Crittenton will practice with the team this week and be in uniform this weekend against the Maine Red Claws."

Anbody know if Dakota (N?S?) has conceal and carry laws?

Okay, insert your own joke here_____________________

Posted by: SteveMG | February 4, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Watched the Heat-Magic game last night and it was the best thing possible for us. Heat were in control the whole way to the point where I thought SVG shouldve pulled his main guys with like 8min left and gave up but he kept them in and they fought so hard all the way to the end just to lose a tight one and Howard played 48min.

I see Flip going back to the McGee-Dray frontcourt. I still think Dray has slimmed down and will play really well from here on out. I think he can kill Anderson if we play right and they have no other backup big with Bass injuried. He should be our go to guy.

Booker has dissapeared the last couple of games with McGee's return and we still have some hope that Dray-McGee can be our frontcourt of the future so I say we will give them one more long look to know where we stand heading into the offseason.

Before last game I thought NY looked like the old NY in the previous 2 or 3 games. Chucking bad shots with blinders on but last game he played alot smarter again like he's done pretty much all year. He always plays well at home. Him vs Richardson will be classic.

Lewis will bring the energy against his former team and should play solid against his old friend Turk. I actually believe this game comes down to Gil. For some reason I really like us in this game. I think those 48min and the L will hurt Howard while I think Dray will beast in this game. I think we are motivated at home, will have the crowd behind us against Gil, and I think our guys will really want to beat Gil. I truly like us in this game.

The reason I said it comes down to Gil is because he has sucked since early on when he got there but over the last 2 games he's looked physically much better. He seems to have his burst back somewhat but he's struggling with trying to find a rythm while coming off the bench so late every game and then everyone on there team has the green light so he may hit 2 in a row and instead of getting it every time like he would here, he watches guys like Reddick & Anderson jackup shots with no consience.

He's not use to that yet. Still, he seems like he's trying to pick it up right before he got to this game so he could play well. Hopefully he is mentally weak again and comes out passive. I know Kirk will be aggressive on him defensively. I think the crowd will boo more then applaud. Its one of those things where he could fold, play solid, or beast and it will inspire that team the rest of the year like the Heat did when they won at the Cavs. Should be an exicting game.

Seraphin played Howard well last time so this may be a game for him. I wouldnt even be shocked if Flip started Seraphin over Mcgee & Booker but I think he goes with McGee 1st

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 4, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

When I was writing my 1st post earlier, I stopped in the middle to do something and when I came back I knew there was something I had forgot but I couldnt rembmer. Then I just saw Gil speak on CSN and I remembered. I thought it was crazy last night during the Heat-Magic game when they had made the impossible comeback, now down by 3 with like 9sec left, and SVG took Gil out the game.

Can you believe that? You know that hit Gil hard. He played the whole 4th, SVG had said he’s been looking better the last couple of games, he’s known for being clutch, he has unlimited range, and SVG took him out. Couldnt believe it. He took him out for Ryan Anderson. Anderson is good but Gil has to be in that game over someone, even if its Howard since your down 3. I understand if you miss you want Howard to get the Offensive board but still

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 4, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Most nights, diehard 'zards fan BUT NOT TONIGHT! Hope Gil gets 30 and hit the game winning 3 pointer like he used to do here. BTW I really hope we play well . . . maybe.

Posted by: zack5 | February 4, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Most nights, diehard 'zards fan BUT NOT TONIGHT! Hope Gil gets 30 and hit the game winning 3 pointer like he used to do here. BTW I really hope we play well . . . maybe.

Posted by: zack5 | February 4, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

go to Dray every play. He'll either score or they'll double him like theyve been doing. Then guys have to hit there shots. Still, Dray is the guy they cant stop. Keep going at em

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 4, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Some boos but most of them didnt forget what he's done and yes there were some good things, haterz. Watch NY get pumped and start going off now....lol

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 4, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I see Flip is finally starting to get smart. We played like 10 games in a row where he would always let both Dray & NY play the whole quarter and then they both sat at the same time and our O would suck. Now he's taking Dray out early and leaving NY in. Then when NY goes out, Dray will come in around the same time so we have one of them in the game for O. It was obvious for 10 years but Flip never adjusted

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 4, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

They don't seem to have much trouble getting the ball to Howard so far. Maybe we're hoping he'll tire himself out from overuse.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 4, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Associated Press reported that Arenas was served with child support and custody papers as he was leaving the court at Amway Center on Thursday night against the Heat.

A process server stopped Arenas as he walked off the floor, reported AP, which obtained court documents regarding a California petition filed by Laura Mendoza Govan, identified as Arenas’ girlfriend.

She seeks custody and support for three children that Arenas fathered and also support for another unborn child.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_magic/

Posted by: MinuMang | February 4, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Booker isn't as tall as Yi...toughness is what is needed and Yi is not your man...no one gets rid of a 7 footer and the Nets did...

Blatche and McGee looks good on paper for rebounding but that's all it is...

Now Wiz have a losing streak at home...and next road game is against Cleveland...I can hardly wait...

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 4, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Not a lot to discuss IMO. The Wiz just weren't able to slow Howard. That freed Orlando up for a bunch of outside shots. They didn't hit many (9 for 28) but it looked like the old Van Gundy game plan from last season.

You never hope to see Kirk Hinrich as your leading scorer, but he did play well.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 4, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse


Once again the Wizards let a couple of nobodies (Ryan Anderson and Earl Clark) look like studs...and JaVale McGee is definitely one of the dumbest players in the league, hands down.

Posted by: and_1 | February 4, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Worth noting Trevor's 6 points, 6 boards, and 6 blocks in his 20 minutes. 6-6-6 -- maybe we've uncovered something sinister.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 4, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

BTW Booker does look like a keeper. Maybe it wasn't such a dumb idea to draft him at 23.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 4, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

7 game losing streak now...what is it on the road 25???? No end in sight at home with 2 more tough opponents coming up...

Pray for rain!!!!!

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 4, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

1) Javale McGee is absolutely terrible. He needs to be coming off the bench. He is the worst starting center in the NBA and one of the dumbest players I've ever seen.

2) Was AB playing tonight? Oh, what's that you say? There were real men on the court so he was afraid to go anywhere near the basket. Ah, got it. Makes sense! Pathetic display of anything resembling being a professional basketball player. Did he hit the clubs hard last night or was he just plain scared?

3) NY proves once again he is just a kid who can score on a bad team. He has no manhood. He has no toughness. His will can be broken so easily. I don't care if the refs missed a couple of calls. If you drive to the basket like you mean it, you'll get those calls. If it looks like you are taking a Sunday stroll to the rim terrified of what may happen to you, you get run over and stomped on.

4) Wall shows he does have the heart and the will if not the physique, shot, and experience just yet to be a great player. His 3 turnovers were horrendous unforced stupid errors that cost the Wiz momentum and a chance to build on a lead in the second quarter. He goes too fast for his own good at times.

5) Booker continues to display that he has the heart and will to be a solid NBA player and already adds much needed toughness to this roster. There is no doubt in my mind Booker and Seraphin both need more minutes as this season winds down.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 4, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Booker is a beast. That game was not what I expected. Maybe someone that was at the game can chime in, but on TV the building looked dead.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 4, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

And_1,

What are you talking about? Dwight Howard dominated this game. He simply passed out to whomever happened to wide open at the time. Ryan Anderson wasn't even close to the reason Orlando won this game. He is simply an NBA player that can hit a wide open shot when presented with one.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 4, 2011 9:40 PM | Report abuse

@rphilli721....Is right on target with his posting...Blatche has no heart to go with whatever talent he has...he is a soft power forward no matter how you look at it...with spurts of aggressiveness, no consistency...

If he had half the heart that Booker has he would be an allstar...

McGee might be dumb but this is only his second year playing...he needs a good coach to TEACH him how to play defense and rebound...not worry about scoring...this team needs toughness in the paint and on the boards...nothing new here...been the problem last 20 yrs

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 4, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Javale McGee - 17 mins, 2pts, 1 rb, 1 to, 3/4 fouls

Why is he playing? He is disgustingly bad. And, once again took 2/3 of the dumbest shots I've ever seen.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 4, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@rphilli,

Clark and Anderson get good looks every game due to teams doubling Howard, yet against the Wizards, they double and triple their scoring averages, respectively. How do you figure that?

@pentagon40,

It's not teaching that McGee is lacking; it's focus, discipline and, I suspect, intelligence. The coaches have jumped his $hi+ numerous times for running a one-man fastbreak and he still does it when the mood hits him because he's more interested in being on ESPN's highlights than making the high-percentage play.

Posted by: and_1 | February 4, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Hate to break the news to you Pentagon, but this is JM's third season and he is not going to be a starting caliber player in the NBA. He is flat out too stupid. To imply he has not been coached or just needs to be coached more is ignorant at best. His mom was a very good female player. So, you would think he would have some bare basics and a good basketball IQ already. He doesn't. He is a rock! A solid rock!

He set two picks tonight at the top of the key where he did not so much as graze the player he was supposed to pick. It's a pointless play call when he is in there bc it actually puts our offense at a disadvantage he is so bad at it. You think he has not been coached on how to set a pick in 3 years in the pros, 2 years of college, and however many years of HS basketball??? Really, you believe that?

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 4, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

@Sampson151
Don't waste your time, they were out matched, out played by a far far far better team. This it the type of roster you get for around $80 Mil. And with a $58 Mil roster, you get blown out, barely winning games and not being able to win on the road. Wait, we do have groupons and Ted thinks he's fine with losing as long as he keeps his 30% increase in revenue.

Posted by: zack5 | February 4, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"[Nick Young] always plays well at home. Him vs Richardson will be classic."

Turned out not to be the case. Neither player was a prime factor, although Jason's FG percentage will look a lot better. And Gil played the way he's been playing most of the season.

So much for hype...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 4, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

@and_1,

Do I need to break it down for you? He averages 19 mins and 11 pts a game for the season. Tonight, he played a little over 30 mins and scored 19 pts. BFD! He hit an extra shot. Woo hoo! Game of his life.

And, back to JM. I have been nothing more than a backyard, schoolyard, rec league basketball player. If I was suited up tonight and FS drew up a play and said I want you to stand at the top of the key and pick JW's man and then roll to wherever on the court. I could execute that play 20 times better than JM - a supposed NBA player. I would actually make contact with the guy I was supposed to and provide space for JW. Point being, it's not friggin' rocket science. JM is just too dumb to execute and maybe that scared of the slightest contact with another human being. Pathetic!

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 4, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Didn't get to watch the game. Have it on DVR, may check it out tonight. The odd stat that sort of jumped out at me from the box score was that the Magic shot 31 threes and the Wizards shot 10. What did the Wiz offense look like tonight?

Looking at the shot chart, it looks like the usual spread of long to long-ish jumpers inside the arc. From someone who watched the game, were the Wiz just settling for those shots, or was that all they could get?

Posted by: ts35 | February 4, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

And, back to JM. I have been nothing more than a backyard, schoolyard, rec league basketball player. If I was suited up tonight and FS drew up a play and said I want you to stand at the top of the key and pick JW's man and then roll to wherever on the court. I could execute that play 20 times better than JM - a supposed NBA player. I would actually make contact with the guy I was supposed to and provide space for JW. Point being, it's not friggin' rocket science. JM is just too dumb to execute and maybe that scared of the slightest contact with another human being. Pathetic!

Posted by: rphilli721

I'm not disagreeing with that, but I will add that JW in general needs to learn to use picks better, too. He tends to leave too much space between himself and the screener, instead of guiding his defender right into it.

Posted by: ts35 | February 4, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

@ts,

Good point. But then, when have you ever seen JM set a solid pick? I don't care who the PG is.

As far as the game, it was typical domination on the boards and inside by DH. AB seemed completely indifferent on the court and went nowhere near the basket - I saw him shaking. JM was terrible.

The Wiz basically outhustled and played with more energy in the first half than the Magic and should have had the lead at half. Then, in the second half, talent took over. Booker, Wall, Hinrich and Lewis played decently. The rest were pretty bad. Booker was a force! He had his own block party. He is one player on the roster not easily intimidated.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 4, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"[Nick Young] always plays well at home. Him vs Richardson will be classic."

Turned out not to be the case. Neither player was a prime factor, although Jason's FG percentage will look a lot better. And Gil played the way he's been playing most of the season.

So much for hype...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 4, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Richardson was a tough matchup for Nick who was unable to get enough separation to get his shot off. Nick's ineffectiveness exacerbated one of the Wizards biggest problems in that they don't have enough players who can score on a consistent basis. Wall is a long ways away from being a threat in the half court set and Hinrich is unable to get to the rim (although he shot well tonight). Lewis is a complimentary player and Blatche has fallen off badly.

Gil actually played much better defense than he played here allowing the Magic to keep Reddick (who is one of the worse defenders in the league on the floor). Van Gundy cross matched Gil on Nick and hid Reddick in Hinrich in the second half. The ability to keep the shooters on the floor was the reason the lead got stretched as Howard had a significant rest in the second half.

With all of the player criticisms on this blog, I have not noted one for the coach, who clearly is one of the most ineffective in the league. The most troubling part of the team development is that players are regressing under Flip's leadership.

Posted by: NewManagement | February 4, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

@rphilli,

Clark averages 3.1 ppg and 1.5 rpg. Tonight he had 10 points and 7 rebs. Ever think that Clark and Anderson got extra minutes because they were feasting on the Wizards? It's apparent that logic isn't your strength, but I guess it's a case of rollin' wit' what ya got! Do I have to break everything down for you too?

Posted by: and_1 | February 4, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Only a blind man couldn't see that allowing two role players to score 29 points and grab 15 boards was big in a game lost by 18. I'll leave it at that.

Posted by: and_1 | February 4, 2011 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Gil actually played much better defense than he played here allowing the Magic to keep Reddick (who is one of the worse defenders in the league on the floor). Van Gundy cross matched Gil on Nick and hid Reddick in Hinrich in the second half. The ability to keep the shooters on the floor was the reason the lead got stretched as Howard had a significant rest in the second half.

With all of the player criticisms on this blog, I have not noted one for the coach, who clearly is one of the most ineffective in the league. The most troubling part of the team development is that players are regressing under Flip's leadership.

Posted by: NewManagement

----

don't think you've been watching too many magic games. redick is actually a pretty effective defender this year and, when playing with gil, usually takes the tougher cover.

and you think our players are regressing under a coach who is "one of the most ineffective in the league"? I'd argue our younger guys have all improved significantly since the beginning of the season though they doubtless all still have a way to go (and some of them like mcgee may never "get" how to play).

Posted by: MinuMang | February 4, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

@and_1,

Ever think they played more minutes bc the Magic are thin up front dumbass? Bass didn't make the trip! And, neither of them had some mind blowing career game nor were they the reason the Magic won. DH dominated the game. Cartier Martin would have scored 12/16 points with all the open looks they got bc of DH. Get a brain transplant!

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 4, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"Richardson was a tough matchup for Nick who was unable to get enough separation to get his shot off. Nick's ineffectiveness exacerbated one of the Wizards biggest problems in that they don't have enough players who can score on a consistent basis." Posted by: NewManagement

I think that's a fair statement. Nick's definitely better this season than last but he doesn't seem like the type to carry a team through a rough patch, or win the game at the very end. Maybe that will change at some point in the future.

But the real matchup problems against a team like Orlando are inside. On some nights it's like a man among boys. This was one of those nights.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

BTW the Spurs seem to be toasting Sacramento on the road tonight. The Kings were trumpeting some recent strong performances from Cousins playing twin towers alongside Dalembert, but maybe that was a mirage. Cousins is 2 of 7 with 5 turnovers, and Dalembert has yet to score. Meanwhile with 4+ minutes remaining, Tiago Splitter is 6 of 7 with 9 rebounds.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 12:10 AM | Report abuse

@and_1,

Play all the tricks you want. They played more minutes and their production increased bc of it. That's like saying a game the Wiz win by 4/5 pts and Cartier Martin happens to drop 9 that he was the reason they won the game. It's absurdity! Not to mention ignorant. Ryan Anderson is a pretty damn good shooter if you haven't caught on by now. That is why he is on their team.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 5, 2011 3:48 AM | Report abuse

"Ryan Anderson is a pretty damn good shooter if you haven't caught on by now. That is why he is on their team.Posted by: rphilli721"

I like the guy. He's playing less than 20 minutes a game and still putting up 11 points, 5.1 boards, and shooting just under 40% from the 3 point line. If you had a strong interior player he'd be a very good complement, the way Rashard Lewis was at one time.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"I'd argue our younger guys have all improved significantly since the beginning of the season though they doubtless all still have a way to go..."Posted by: MinuMang

They mainly look tired. That's possibly why Booker stands out, he's got the proverbial fresh legs. I notice that pretty much every away game, some opponent talks up the importance of not letting the Wiz get their first road win. Teams seem to be playing hard against them.

The gauntlet winds down with Atlanta and Milwaukee.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I just want to get on the soapbox for a moment and say the season is just too freaking long. War of attrition and all that. Some of the teams that are flagging now are probably trying to rest some of their players. Teams that depend on first-year players are sagging as they hit the wall.

I know it'll never change but it's a reason why the games aren't better.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@ rphilli721
2) Was AB playing tonight? Oh, what's that you say? There were real men on the court so he was afraid to go anywhere near the basket. Ah, got it. Makes sense! Pathetic display of anything resembling being a professional basketball player. Did he hit the clubs hard last night or was he just plain scared?

He had six assists, two steals, and only one turnover. His shooting percentage was higher than 50%. Only one of his seven shots was outside fifteen feet. Five of his seven shots were closer than ten feet. Please, try to use information to establish a valid argument, or at least provide a context to illustrate your argument. For example, he was in foul trouble most of the night; therefore his productivity was limited. If he accumulated those fouls because of lazy foot work and hand work or poor body position, then you can establish a salient reason for why you think he isn’t a good basketball player.

Posted by: twomangame | February 5, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

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