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Posted at 6:14 PM ET, 02/16/2011

Open thread: Wizards (15-38) at Magic (35-21)

By Michael Lee

The Wizards will close the first half of the season where they started, in Orlando. They lost 112-83 in the season opener and will have a hard time avoiding another loss with Rashard Lewis out with right knee tendinitis, Nick Young out with a bruised left knee and JaVale McGee dealing with a sore back. Coach Flip Saunders joked that McGee got a case of "Howarditis" and Young got a case of "Gilbertitis," with the Wizards facing Dwight Howard, who has destroyed them three times already, and Gilbert Arenas looking to finally have a breakthrough game since he was traded for Lewis on Dec. 18. The Wizards will look to win consecutive games on the road for the first time after finally ending their 26-game road-losing streak in Cleveland on Sunday.

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 16, 2011; 6:14 PM ET
 
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Next: Short-handed Wizards go into all-star break with a whimper

Comments

Im really looking forward to this game. I think McGee's been playing extremely well lately(although he could board a little more consitently). I want to see him against Howard 1 more time. Also, hopefully Flip is smart enough to play Seraphin against Howard at times. He played him great in the 1st game and Flip wouldnt play him in the last game. He has this dumb habit of playing Seraphin against finese guys and playing Yi against power guys. It makes no sense.

I also want to see if Howard can continue to play well & lead us. I love watching him play and the way he fits with us. I also want to see Wall because he's starting to look like he did at the start of the year. Can he keep it up? Last but not least, I want to see if NY can keep it going 2 or 3 road games in a row. I want to see him matchup against Richardson, JJ, and Gil and get the best of them if possible.

Ill be watching for all those matchups either way. The same with Dray. Hasnt been perfect but starting to play solid. If we get skunked again it would be really dissapointing

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 16, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Nevermind, no NY tonight which sucks. It takes alot of steam off of this game for me. Oh well, maybe we get to see the old Dray tonight

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 16, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Gil's looking better phyically lately. I could see him putting it all together tonight just to add insult to us. I think he should be starting anyways as they wont win anything with Nelson running the show but thats what SVG wants to do I guess

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 16, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Yep dlts 2041, I agree. Nelson, I have to give him his due, but Gilbert needs to start. Gilbert will not give them what they are paying him for coming off the bench.

In fact, since they took the gamble on Gilbert, they should start him or give more minutes and float Nelson as trade bait.

Nelson should fetch a handsome player.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Whoever is screaming at the arena after the Magic scores is just getting annoying.

Posted by: daigunder | February 16, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Nick in dress code violation. Thought you had to have coat and tie on the bench in an away game.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't know how this game is even close at this point. I guess Wall and Hinrich since nobody else on the court has done a damn thing except rebound fairly well. Players are dropping like flies.

@dlts,

You looked forward to JM getting embarrassed by DH for the umpteenth time? AB playing like the wuss that he is as well. Wants nothing to do with the paint with DH there.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 16, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand Hilton Armstrong! No offense and no defense. What is he good for??

Posted by: bullwiz81 | February 16, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

GT & UCONN. Flip the channel.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Where is Brendan Haywood when you need him?

Posted by: cannontl | February 16, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

lol...yeah, Hilton A is definitely hard to watch. He really is a terrible basketball player and probably not going to be in the league much longer. He is just a big tall dude with zero coordination. JM should like him as he makes him looked skilled and polished.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 16, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, stinkeroo.

Outside of Wall, the starting 4 are a combined 6 for 37. Martin and Howard are 1 for 18.

And the team has 5 assists through 3 quarters.

That's not a typo.

Posted by: SteveMG | February 16, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

This game is actually worse than the Spurs game. At least in that game the route was already decided but for this game there was a little adversity after giving up the lead and they softened up like plush pillows. JW is the only one doing anything.

Posted by: bullwiz81 | February 16, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Take a guy like Nick Young out of Flip's system and it isn't so much that we miss the scoring but the system is screwed.

It begs the question in that the system is built so much on a set offense and the players executing it that scoring in end analysis suffers greatly.

It's probably why the futility on the road was so horrendous. Just being able to score in Flip's system is a challenge.

You have to know that the system has to fit/facilitate the players and not the other way around.

Kevin Garnett is a Hall of Fame talent and Flip's system was less important to a degree. But lacking Hall Of Fame pedigree, the system has to facilitate the players to a much greater degree.

That is the disconnect here with Flip and these players. It's his system and what he wants moreso than going with something that better suits his current talent.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Blatche looks like a player with no confidence and no direction on the floor.

I wonder, why is that???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Don't know why Shakur wan't used early in the game as the sub for Wall.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Blatche looks like a player with no confidence and no direction on the floor.

I wonder, why is that???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Let me guess: It's somebody else's fault and is totally unrelated to his clubbing, poor conditioning and late-night binge eating. How'd I do, Lar?

Posted by: and_1 | February 16, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Blatche wants outahere. Maybe he's had enough and wants to be traded. By the way, his contract isn't a bad one.

But, word to the wise. If we trade him and don't get someone in return that is as good as Blatche, it would a bad thing for the Wizards.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

One (1) assist for Wall against five turnovers. He did a good job of scoring tonight though.

I think it should be clear by now that McGee is not any type of long-term solution as a starting center. I don't see any signs of growth or that he will grow.

Blatche is as soft a PF as you will ever see. I give him credit for trying to board tonight, but he's been looking like a backup, journeyman type all year. No different tonight.

Posted by: and_1 | February 16, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

But, word to the wise. If we trade him and don't get someone in return that is as good as Blatche, it would a bad thing for the Wizards.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Soft big men who shoot 43% from the field are a dime a dozen. The fact that he has poor work habits, maturity issues and a bad 'tude grease the skids even more (from a Wiz viewpoint) for his departure.

Posted by: and_1 | February 16, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

If only Saunders would follow Blatche around 24 hours a day to make sure he eats right, works out right and gets the right amount of sleep.

C'mon Flip, get with it.

Posted by: SteveMG | February 16, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Eight assists?

Man.

Posted by: SteveMG | February 16, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Hard to rack up the assists when the starters (other than Wall) shoot a combined 10-46 (21.7%) from the field. Maybe they started their all star break early.

Posted by: and_1 | February 16, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Let me guess: It's somebody else's fault and is totally unrelated to his clubbing, poor conditioning and late-night binge eating. How'd I do, Lar?

Posted by: and_1 | February 16, 2011 9:22 PM

Actually, and_1, you didn't do to good. For, if what you indicate is really true about Blatche, you would have to ask yourself, why? Why? How many years has Blatche been with this Team? If this is so true about Blatche, then why the contract? Did Blatche snow/con the organization into that contract? What is really up and_1.

For, if Blatche is really the person that you portary him as, then wouldn't that indicate a very poor decision by the Washington Wizards?

Huh. Yes. Yes, and_1.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse


If this is so true about Blatche, then why the contract? Did Blatche snow/con the organization into that contract? What is really up and_1.

For, if Blatche is really the person that you portary him as, then wouldn't that indicate a very poor decision by the Washington Wizards?

Huh. Yes. Yes, and_1.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Are you even remotely capable of linear, logical reasoning? Blatche's contract is a separate issue and has nothing to do with his lacking confidence or direction on the floor. Note that nowhere in my response did I say that management was right for giving him an extension when he still had two years left on his contract.

Posted by: and_1 | February 16, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I think it should be clear by now that McGee is not any type of long-term solution as a starting center. I don't see any signs of growth or that he will grow.

Posted by: and_1 | February 16, 2011 9:31 PM

The only way to come to a definitive decision about McGee is to let him prove it on the court. When McGee got two quick fouls, he was out the game and two players subbed at center before he sniffed the court again.

He came back in and got another foul right off the bat. Looks like a player that doesn't realize what a foul is. It even looks even worse for the Team.

But in reality, I would like Flip to prove to us that McGee doesn't get it. Leave him in the game and let him play his minutes and see it he fouls out or holds his own.

I can't make absolute decisions about McGee when he is on the bench and not allowed to prove that he can overcome diversity.

Maybe you like your players always taking notes on the bench like Flip. I'd like to see McGee on the court with two early fouls and see how he really responds.

Let that boy swimm in the deep water. Flip in his hard coaching stance is a Wimp as a coach. Let McGee play with them two fouls like the way they used to teach big men in the past. It is the only way he can learn how to play without fouling.

You can't learn how to play with two fouls on the bench.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

ARMSTRONG did not have a good night when he was needed inside.

JIANLIAN did the best he could, but just can't post up nor defend DWIGHT HOWARD.

McGEE and BOOK played well together in the first period and the beginning of the second. That third foul mid-way through the second on JAVALE was the nail in the WIZARDS' coffin.

Once 'DRAY got on the floor in the second period things went south fast. He could drop 30 a night, and I wouldn't miss him.

Man I sure wish we could move his sorry azz out, and bring in COUSINS in his stead.

SERAPHIN will be decent in a couple more years. He's continues to show a bit of life after being dead most of the season.

BOOKER probably be better than decent. I like his game as well as his 'tude.

Sure missed RASHARD.

JOSH HOWARD was rusty, and it showed.

AL THORNTON getting hurt hurts.

MARTIN looked like a d-leaguer for the first time this season.

CAPTAIN KIRK was obviously advised to take up the slack for a missing NICK YOUNG which he was able to do....for awhile.

As was WALL. Once ORLANDO figured who the offense was going through, that penetration and those open shots got a lot harder to find. Especially in the second half.

SHAKUR continues to show potential as the third #1 option.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 16, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

You can't learn how to play with two fouls on the bench.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Well said. Time to fish or cut bait. I found myself mumbling, "f*** it, let him foul out. Let's see how long it takes." You sure aren't going to learn how to deal with adversity on the bench. By the third quarter, it was too late, the team had already headed for the showers, mentally at least.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 16, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards are still not getting consistent production from the SF spot, and it's not because of youth. That's one of the most annoying things about this year's roster.

I don't know if it's a trend, but I've noticed over the last few games that Yi is getting frozen out on offense. When he's in the game he should be getting touches, especially in a game where Howard and Martin are struggling. It wouldn't hurt to look for McGee and Seraphin around the rim either.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 16, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

But, word to the wise. If we trade him and don't get someone in return that is as good as Blatche, it would a bad thing for the Wizards.

LarryInClintonMD.

Hard to be much worse. It can be done, but I like the odds of getting someone better.......COUSINS is my man, no worse a head-case than 'DRAY. GRIFFIN would be nice also. Or maybe we'll land SULLINGER in the draft.

And if we retain our 2nd, I'd look at JUSTIN HARPER of RICHMOND as the next project at the four/three. He might be a poor-man's RASHARD LEWIS. Senior, 22 next season, 6'10" 225, mobile and athletic. Great range on outside shots including three's [50.0%], probably a bit soft on the inside at this point due to lack of bulk. Frame can carry 10-15 more pounds without slowing him down. Team-oriented player all the way.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 16, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

If Flip didn't Bull Javale when he got into foul trouble he would've fouled out of the game before half time...And that would be the case EVERYNIGHT..

Are you freaking kidding me??

Posted by: kevenjones | February 16, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse

@kevenjones,

Let me see it. Let me see it. Just one time please. Just one measely time. Please!

Back in the day before this 2-foul to the bench that coaches overuse now, they usta' let players foul out. Now, players don't foul out anymore, they just sit on the bench on the assumtion that they will foul out.

When coaches ASSUME, they make a AssUMe. In the military they call it a As_ out of U and Me. Translation, an As_ out of the player and the coach.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Flip didn't Bull Javale when he got into foul trouble he would've fouled out of the game before half time...And that would be the case EVERYNIGHT..

Are you freaking kidding me??

O.K., let's make it happen. He ain't learnin' any other way. Hell, he probably would have fouled out by the end of the first period, or very shortly thereafter.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 16, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

"But in reality, I would like Flip to prove to us that McGee doesn't get it. Leave him in the game and let him play his minutes and see it he fouls out or holds his own."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 16, 2011 10:01 PM

It's a bball court, not a court of law. The burden of proof is on McGee to prove that he does get it. A good place to start would to be to not pick up silly fouls three minutes into the game.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2011 2:28 AM | Report abuse

"Are you even remotely capable of linear, logical reasoning?"

Posted by: and_1 | February 16, 2011 9:51 PM

That's rhetorical, right?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2011 2:29 AM | Report abuse

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