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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 02/22/2011

Open thread: Wizards (15-39) vs. Pacers (24-30)

By Gene Wang

The Wizards open the final portion of their season against the Indiana Pacers at Verizon Center to kick off four games in five nights comprising two sets of back-to-backs. Washington is 1-1 this season against Indiana, with each team winning at home. The Pacers currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Let the conversation begin in the thread below. You can also join the conversation on Twitter with Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) and Gene Wang (@gene_wang). 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 Gene Wang  | February 22, 2011; 5:00 PM ET
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Next: Wizards bench provides little support


Call me crazy but I actually think we finish the season pretty strong. McGee had started to play better recently and I think this dunk contest will make him so confident that he plays great in the 2nd half. The same with Wall. Wall seemed like he hit the rookie Wall and then finally got his 2nd wind a few games back and I think with him winning the MVP of the rookie/soph game, it will give him confidence to play great in the 2nd half of the year. Then I think Dray will also magically start playing harder because he now feels that he's "2nd Half" Dray after last season. You also have NY who played great in 2 of his last 3 games, and we should be more healthy then we have been all season.

I think we could look a ton better but the real question is how much of a good thing is that? Last year Dray finished great which I think gave him a big head and it didnt carry over like we had hoped. Playing great may give this team & EG a false sense of hope going into the Offseason. People might think that weve finally put it together and the young guys will be older and ready next year. Worst of all it may seem like Flip is still the right guy even though I think his thousand play, half court, jump shot, crap system sucks and he doesnt demand enough of the players let alone himself who never takes in responsibility. Who knows

for some reason I thought this game was on the road which then for some reason makes me less excited about it. Im a road freak. Nothing better then winning in a hostile enviroment but I guess I wouldnt know much about that with this

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 22, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

As for the game tonight, I really want to see it. I always watch Indy out the corner of my eye & I love there style of play. I think Wall would look great in that uptempo system. Indy is as hot as any team in the league right now since the coahcing change and will probably be a playoff team while I also think we will play very confident tonight. Then I always love the matchups with Hibbert vs McGee, Wall vs Collinson, NY vs Dunleavy, Granger vs Lewis or Howard, McRoberts vs Dray, and so on.

Also, if we are healthy down the stretch I would love for Flip to for once grow a pair and make guys earn there run. In the frontcourt we basically have 4 starters for 3 positions with Howard, Lewis, Dray, & McGee. I think it makes sense for Howard to sit since he probably has the lesser future with us but at the same time if he's right, he can easily be the best player in the group so he might deserve to get that shine also. Either way we can use it to keep McGee and espically Dray on there heels to play hard & consistent down the stretch if Flip is smart

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 22, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Tonight for me is the NY show. Dunleavy cant guard him & by time they put someone else in, NY should have it going. If he's smart and plays right then he should go for 30+ and keep us in it or better. I really really want to see Wall vs Collinson though. That will be fun.

I also think we should go to Dray. I like his matchups "if" he's right which you never know of. NY 1st & Dray as the 2nd option.

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 22, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the other players don't have the smarts or hustle that Josh Howard has. Will be interesting to see the effort come the 4th period by the team and if McGee gets playing time then...

So glad the Carmelo drama is over...Knicks are not going anywhere anyway...The east is loaded and they gave up too much to get him...

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 22, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz should deduct the price of two season tickets from Blatche's salary. He stands around and watches enough for any two fans ... what a lazy joke he is.

Posted by: VirginiaLonghorn | February 22, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Javale McGee has ZERO offense. I love how people think he can play just because he can jump out of the gym. He is extremely athletic but has Zero Basketball IQ and Zero back to the basket offense.

Posted by: Coach2279 | February 22, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Wizards appear to have packed it in for the remiander of the season. Might as well have a raffle and let 12 lucky fans play the rest of the season. As a matter of fact, the fans may play with more pathetic is this team?

Posted by: Coach2279 | February 22, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Ok dlts2014, you asked for it: You are crazy.

Anyway, they continue to look like a untalented, poorly coached team. Hard to look at sometimes.

Posted by: larryrob | February 22, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz certainly look unprepared to play a basketball game. Lifeless and noncompetitive.

Posted by: bozomoeman | February 22, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

McGee is definitely having an off-night. Hopefully, he can get it in gear in the 2nd half.

So far, the tale of the tape is Seraphin +13, McGee -24.

This is a game that the Wizards *should* win. Blatche had a nice run in the first quarter; Wall's finally getting his shots to fall. Howard has looked good in stretches at PG too. Maybe go with Armstrong at the 5 if McGee continues to struggle (and Seraphin runs into foul trouble).

Posted by: JPRS | February 22, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Meltdown in 3,2,1... Terrible...

Posted by: bullwiz81 | February 22, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Another losing streak begun...Hopefully Ted will be smart and snap up Donnie Walsh when he becomes available from the Knicks, then let Walsh pick the new coach for the Wiz....

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 22, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

The Pacers look like a team that spent the last few days resting and focusing on basketball instead of the most recent edition of 'American Idol -- Extra Tall Version.'

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

When a team like the Nets give up a 7footer, Yi, with their bad record, that should have told the Wiz something...he is not a rebounder or good occasional outside shot but that is not what is expected of a 7 footer...sad....

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 22, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

When this team become competitive - that is defined as having a decent chance of winning on most nights - everyone on the roster will be gone except for Wall.

They're 3 years away. Maybe 4.

Posted by: SteveMG | February 22, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Dreadful...absolutely dreadful. The Wiz have to be one of the worst shooting teams in the league.

Posted by: Coach2279 | February 22, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

To be off 3-4 days because of the All-Star break, open up at home and play so listlessly, each player should donate at least 10,000 of their game check to charity. Fans know hustle when they see it and even if their abilities are not up to standards, what happened to pride???? Sad.....

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 22, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Again Blatche and McGee are not on the floor at the end...the supposedly two players the team is building for the future...some future, eh!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 22, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

The worst part - well near the bottom - is that the Pacers didn't play very well.

Didn't shoot well but did hustle.

Gonna' be a long second half. I see this team completely falling apart very soon.

Yeah, how could you tell?

Posted by: SteveMG | February 22, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

See this is what I have been talking about. The Pacers are the example we had our little debate over about 2 weeks ago. I had been suggesting for the Wiz to let Sam Cassell run the show like the Pacers had done with their new young coach Frank Vogel.

The Pacers were looking just like the Wiz are now when Jim O'Brian (i.e. Flip Sanders) was coaching them. Now you have some new "young blood" that is now giving them some new juice, and brother you can see it.

Flip is not the answer for the future so Ted and Ernie just need to cut ties with him now. Nothing against Flip personally, but his message, or lack thereof, has now fallen on deft ears.

Time for a change Ted. I see you sitting right next to the bench and I do not think that is by accident. Most owners sit in the owners box. Don't let your personal likeness for Flip confuse you on what you are seeing up close and personal.

Flip has lost the team, so everyone knows when that happens it is time to make a change. As the little girl in Rush Hour said to Chris Tucker. "Go ahead and PUSH the button, Ted........"!!!

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 22, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

And I see we are starting the second half of the season as we did in the first part of it....was hoping for a win but until this team plays with some urgency and stop being ever NBA team favorite whipping boy the results we get will be loses...I would say fire the darn coach but i guess its too darn late in the season to do that.....

Posted by: redskinsfaninnc | February 22, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah.

Vogel is in his 10th season as an NBA coach. Cassell hasn't even finished his second.

Yeah, the two situations are exactly the same. Hell, Cassell and Vogel are practically twins. Their own mothers couldn't tell them apart.


Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse


The Atlanta Hawks are interested in Washington Wizards veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich, according to league sources, but the Hawks are not willing to give Washington both a young player and a first-round pick for Hinrich, the Wizards’ current asking price.

Wizards would get Bibby back. I don't really care for any of Atlanta's young players, but a pick in the early 20s would be terrific.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 22, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

"each player should donate at least 10,000 of their game check to charity"

There you go.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2011 11:23 PM | Report abuse

"Ok dlts2014, you asked for it: You are crazy."

I second that, they are terrible.

They NEED a big man something awful. If I am EG, and I know he refuses to do this, I do whatever I can to get Wall an inside presence ASAP. Especially after watching him play this past weekend with real big men.

Nobody is coming out this year that can help the Wiz, they should be shopping that pick and see what turns up. If it were me, I would go right to Sacremento and see what it would take to get Cousins to come to Washington. Yes, he's a knucklehead. But he will listen to John Wall, and I can't find fault with someone who wants the ball. John Wall will get him the ball.

Ted, look at what the Knicks did. They have two "stars" now. Yes, they gutted thier roster. But I guarantee they will be better before the Wiz will be. Especially if you continue to let EG and "Sideshow Flip" run the show here.

"...but the Hawks are not willing to give Washington both a young player and a first-round pick for Hinrich, the Wizards’ current asking price."

Nobody is going to do that. And if they do they should be fired.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 22, 2011 11:23 PM | Report abuse

"his message, or lack thereof, has now fallen on deft ears."

Deft ears are particularly adroit and skillful, no doubt...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I almost wish the Wiz would do the Bibby deal, if only to teach the people who think Hinrich is a bad defender a lesson about being careful what you complain about.

Of course, there's no reason for the Wiz to do that deal unless there's a pick involved.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Wizards would get Bibby back.


if ernie completes a trade that brings bibby to the wiz, he should not only be fired, but also boiled in oil.

Posted by: MinuMang | February 22, 2011 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I hope EG doesn't allow this team to become the trash collection team for teams to pass on players they no longer want. Not a trade that makes any sense, maybe he throws in Blatche and get a draft pick but I'm still think it's not a good deal.

Posted by: zack5 | February 23, 2011 4:41 AM | Report abuse

Al Thornton as the back up point guard, Mustafa Shakur was that big a hit on the salary cap, because why else would a struggling team not keep productive players. Or was the reason for not keeping a second (productive) point guard have more to do with who Shakur out played ,because its clear to some that this is John Walls team come h.. or high water. I'm not Hating on JWall he's going to be a great player someday, but what was wrong with Shakur was it his name, did he demand too high a salary, was he a disruptive element in the locker room or was he unable to learn the sets. As woful a team as the Washington Wizards are you just have to wonder what are the teams goals. Be as woful as possible?

Posted by: | February 23, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

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