The Magic Looks Legit

Jameer Nelson was getting dressed in the visitors' locker room at Verizon Center a few weeks ago when he compared his situation as point guard for the Orlando Magic to the red hot quarterback on the NFL's only unbeaten team.

"I got to Tom Brady this thing," Nelson said. "I got so many weapons."

Rashard Lewis, the Magic's new $118 million man, came walking out of the shower and Nelson said, "See, that's Randy Moss!"

Nelson pointed to Dwight Howard, who was sitting across from him. "That's [Donte] Stallworth!"

Nelson was asked who Hedo Turkoglu was. "[Wes] Welker," he said.

Keith Bogans, seated next to Nelson, looked up, anxious to hear who he was.

"Bogans?" Nelson said, pausing to think. "He's the kicker. He's Vinatieri."

Let me help out Nelson some: Adam Vinatieri is no longer a member of the New England Patriots. He's in Indianapolis. He won a Super Bowl with the Colts last season.


Yo, Dwight, this mouthpiece tastes so much better now that we're winning! I bet it does, Jameer. But why'd you call me Donte Stallworth? My bicep is bigger than him." (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Nelson can be forgiven for his lack of football knowledge, especially since he is obviously more focused on directing one of the biggest surprises in the NBA this season.

The Magic (10-2) has lost once since it left Washington, and it remains the only team with an unbeaten road record (7-0) after defeating the New Orleans Hornets, 95-88, last night.

Orlando will probably see its road win streak come to an end Wednesday in San Antonio, but that wouldn't diminish what the team has been able to accomplish to this point.

It handed the Boston Celtics their only loss of the season on Sunday, becoming the first team to (somewhat) neutralize the unleashed from Minnesota Kevin Garnett. It also beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in overtime after Howard, a career 55.4 percent free throw shooter, nailed the two decisive free throws.

When the season began, I assumed that the Miami Heat would the be the greatest challenger to the Wizards for the Southeast Division, but right now, the division looks like it's the Magic's to lose (and it has nothing to do with the awful, pathetic, (insert negative adjective) start by the Heat). I know the Magic started at 13-4 last season only to finish 40-42, but the reason why I think Orlando will be around for the long haul this season is Stan Van Gundy.

He wasn't the first choice for the Magic (Billy Donovan accepted the job before running back to coach college kids at Florida), but he is the best choice for this team. The man can coach.

It was easy to forget about Van Gundy when Pat Riley stole the team from him . . . um, I mean, took over after Van Gundy stepped down for family reasons and led the Heat to the NBA Championship in 2006.

Van Gundy was listed as a consultant but he kept a lower profile than someone in witness protection. He still hasn't said much about how his relatively successful tenure in Miami ended. Riley stepped down in the preseason in 2003, thinking he had handed over a garbage team to his apprentice.

But after an 0-7 start, Van Gundy led the Heat into the playoffs as an unlikely fifth seed. In two full seasons, he made the playoffs both times and came within two minutes of leading the Heat to the NBA Finals.


Who are you, again? I'm Stan Van Gundy. Jeff works for ESPN. I used to be your coach, Dwyane. (Photo by Fernando Medina/Getty Images)

Van Gundy said he started getting the itch to return to coaching last summer, when Indiana and Sacramento, among others, came calling. "I was out for over a year and for the first 12 months, I wasn't itching at all. The last few months, I really started to miss it and wanted to get back to it," Van Gundy said. "I did feel that if I didn't come back this year it would be tough to come back later. The longer you were out, it would be hard, especially when people had some interest. If you say no to that, people start thinking that you're through."

Van Gundy, 48, is far from finished. With the Heat roster calcifying and Riley running out of ways to motivate that bunch (he recently threatened to suit up, bad hip and all), he might not feel so bad that he was pushed aside . . . um, resigned. I don't think Stan will have many "What if" thoughts when the Magic hosts the Heat on Saturday. The Heat is a beat down hooptie right now. The Magic is a Maybach.

"I love the guys I have on my team. We've got a long, long way to go and they know it," Van Gundy said.

Howard won't turn 22 until next month, but he has already established himself as the franchise. He signed a five-year, $85 million extension last summer, and his shoulders seem to be expanding right along with his bank account. Howard is having a monster season, averaging career highs in points (22) and rebounds (14.2), and the fans should reward him with an all-start (I love Shaq, but it's Howard's time now).

The Magic generated a few snickers when it grossly outbid itself for the services of Lewis, one of the league's better perimeter scorers. Lewis, who joined Orlando after spending his first eight seasons in relative obscurity in Seattle, said he initially felt pressure to live up to the contract, but is no longer thinking about that. "My signature is already on that contract. The ink dried a long time ago. I can't change anything about that," Lewis said. "All that I'm focused on is helping this team win some games."


What, me worry about being overpaid? (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Image)

Lewis is averaging 21.4 points and proving to be the consistent scorer the Magic lacked last season. He said he expected to hear some negative comments about his deal. "People have doubted me my whole career. They doubted me when I came out of high school," said Lewis, who was selected in the second round out of Alief Elsik High (Texas) in 1998 and has gone on to become an NBA all-star.

Then, there is Mr. Brady. Nelson appears to be coming into his own this season, averaging career highs in nearly statistical category, including assists (6.6). He was comforted by receiving a 5-year, $30-million extension last month, but he is playing this season with a heavy heart.

His father, Floyd "Pete" Nelson, was discovered dead in the Delaware River in September. The veteran shipbuilder and tugboat repairman had been missing for two days. Officials later ruled the death accidental, but Nelson said he still has an empty feeling when he thinks about the man who shaped his son's athletic career despite some long hours on the dock.

"Some times I sit at home and think about him all day. While I'm court, I know he's with me and I got to continue to play my game and do the things he wants me to do," said Nelson, who wears wristbands in his father's honor that read "Family First." "Everything I do is for him and for my family."

Before last season, Howard said the Magic could "go all the way." He has since said that he was misunderstood. Howard hasn't made any bold proclamations about the Magic this season, but he is optimistic that Orlando can be one of the elite teams in the East.

"That's our goal. That's the kind of team we want to become, a championship-caliber team. Those guys are at the top of the East, we want to get there," Howard said. "We have the talent, we have the right coaching staff. It's going to depend on how hard we play as a team."

By Michael Lee |  November 20, 2007; 7:30 AM ET
Previous: Arenas Sits Out Practice | Next: Gilbert out for tonight

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Posted by: mark | November 20, 2007 7:37 AM

A very telling quote from AD in the paper this morning...
In his past 13 starts, including the playoffs, Daniels has averaged 12.3 points and 10.2 assists. "I just have to do what I do regardless. I can't change my approach," Daniels said. "Gilbert's job when he's out there, he's the primary scorer. When I get in there, I'm the primary setup guy."

I hope this quiets a little bit of the talk about GA shooting too much. He does it because his coach tells him to do it, not because he's selfish.

Posted by: mark | November 20, 2007 7:55 AM

The more interesting issue for Wiz fans about Orlando is how we stack up against the Magic front court (with Howard and the two atheletic 6'10" forwards). I don't feel EJ anticipated the issues in the last game. We need to go big against Orlando, including moving CB to the #2 and heavier minutes for Blatche including when Haywood is on the floor.

Posted by: Izman | November 20, 2007 8:14 AM

Great update on the Magic! surely one of the toughest teams in Washington's way.

Posted by: rgz | November 20, 2007 8:17 AM

Where's Ivan?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 8:35 AM

Nice story. How come this didn't end up in the Post? Who is editing things over there?

Posted by: Ted | November 20, 2007 8:41 AM

"I hope this quiets a little bit of the talk about GA shooting too much. He does it because his coach tells him to do it, not because he's selfish.

Posted by: mark | November 20, 2007 07:55 AM "

That's a bunch of horse manure.

So EJ told Gilby to play defense last year, and what did Gilby say? Duh.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 20, 2007 8:57 AM

So EJ told Gilby to play defense last year, and what did Gilby say? Duh.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 20, 2007 08:57 AM

He said - teach me, don't just talk to me.

Posted by: rgz | November 20, 2007 9:37 AM


Yea, but I still would've liked to see the Magic beat the Hornets with CP3 in the line-up last night.

Chris Paul is straight bananas this year...and Jameer Nelson has been doing a good job leading his team so far, but definitely can't hang with CP3.

Posted by: truthaboutit.net | November 20, 2007 9:55 AM

I agree with Izman's point about going big against Orlando. I really don't see, though, how Orlando is having that much success. Maybe it's because so many teams have difficulty defending Dwight Howard. And it's rather odd that when the Wizards played Orlando this year, it wasn't Howard or Lewis that killed them; it was Turkoglu.

Posted by: Sean | November 20, 2007 9:58 AM

Any man who types in First on this message board has some serious issues. I mean come on what are we 5 years old here? If you take joy in typing in first I can't imagine how pathetic all of ur lives must be.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 10:02 AM

Mark you are clueless. The Princeton Offense is all about passing the ball around and getting easy buckets. There is no way in hell Eddie is telling gilbert to shoot all those pathetic shots he shoots. I have no problem with Gilbert shooting but he needs to work on his shot selection and his 3 point shot.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 10:06 AM

Mark yes gilby's job is to score but he still has to play within the offense and include everyone else. He has done it well the past couple games but wait til we play the mavericks or san antonio he will jack up about 30 shots and 20 of them will be the worst shots I have ever seen.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 10:17 AM

"So EJ told Gilby to play defense last year, and what did Gilby say? Duh.

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 20, 2007 08:57 AM

He said - teach me, don't just talk to me.

Posted by: rgz | November 20, 2007 09:37 AM "

BS.

Gilby's actual words were that EJ asking him to play D or focus on playing at least some D was taking away from his offensive game. Also, EJ asking him to play the princeton didn't jive as Gilby wanted to play "helter skelter."

Given all that, EJ better quit it with giving Gilby free reign on last second shots at the buzzer in hopes of tying or winning. EJ is a moron by saying he will do it every time. What are the other 4 people on the court? Chopped chicken livers?

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 20, 2007 10:21 AM

It'll never stop will it. People still actually believe we had a chance to get JCN. We didn't pass him up. Navarro and his agent worked it so we couldn't sign him. Not to mention his defense would have definitely hurt us more than his offense would've helped. This team didn't need scoring help we needed defensive help. With nick young coming along it mad no sense to give Navarro the 3+ million he wanted(not to mention he signed with mem for 500k). The only way we would ever see anything from Navarro was to trade him to MEM for whatever we could get. No one else would give us as much as they did, and if someone else would've spain would've just jumped the buyout back up and the other team would've denied. So basically there is no point to any argument about this whole situation. We got what we could out of it. GREAT JOB EG!!

Posted by: the truth | November 19, 2007 11:47 PM

___
Now, now, no need to get yourself in a tizzy, while presenting your opinion as fact. You do not know that JCN never wanted to come here or that his agent worked it to that end. You "deducted" this, but you do not know this. I respected your opinion, I just believe you to be wrong. JCN is superior value to DS or any of the SG's we have at this early stage. I am not suggesting that EG not sign DS. I am simply suggesting that if he brings in JCN then perhaps the Wiz draft someone else, say; SEAN (Nets). This team would look a lot different, no? Time will tell with regards to this particular move.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 10:23 AM

I watched the Boston/Orlando game the other day, the Magic do look VERY good. They will be tough to beat in the Southeast. They are definately coming into thier own. Good to see Stan Van Gundy having success after getting jobbed by Riley in Miami.

Posted by: cwb3 | November 20, 2007 10:25 AM

I hope this quiets a little bit of the talk about GA shooting too much. He does it because his coach tells him to do it, not because he's selfish.

---

You must be kidding Mr. Mindreader. GA decided that he is going to heave shots which has nothing to do with being a primary scorer. Would stop with your selective memory and excerpting.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 10:34 AM

Does anyone ever watch Wizards games on Comcast On Demand? They keep advertising that they are available "one hour after the end of the game for 24 hours or until the next game." Every time I try to watch one, all I get is the one-minute commercial, but no game. I called them, and they have no idea what I'm talking about. ?????

Posted by: G Diddy | November 20, 2007 10:50 AM

This is a direct quote from a team member. All of you who are criticizing me should reread my post. All I did was ctrl-c, ctrl-v. If you have a problem with the quote it's with AD, not me. I don't claim to read minds or have any special insight into roles or responsibilities on the team. All I said was that if his job (as defined by his coach) is to shoot, he shouldn't be criticized for not passing more and for shooting. Even EJ has said that his system started out as pure Princeton but morphed into something new because of changes he's made. Have you ever seen Princeton do a dribble handoff from the C to the PG? NO. If AD says that GA has a green light because his job is to score, you oughtta believe it. You don't have to like it. It is what it is.

Posted by: mark | November 20, 2007 10:59 AM

But then again, as many others have stated, there will always be ppl here who want to criticize GA for being GA...

Posted by: mark | November 20, 2007 11:17 AM

In re: to GA playing within the offense...
I think EJ gives GA a lot of free reign to take over whenever he feels like he can do so. Most of the good coaches understand that sometimes you have to play outside of the structure of an offense. Everyone knows everyone else's plays. At some point the game comes down to individuals doing what they do best. A lot of the best players catch grief for being selfish when they are actually doing what the coach asks them to do. MJ, AI, Kobe, etc were all considered to be selfish players at some point. I'm not comparing GA's ability to theirs but I am saying that if they all had the green light and all had supreme confidence, you'd expect them all to shoot and shoot often. GA does the same. Personally, if I was down by 1 and had 10 seconds on teh clock, there are probably only 3 gus I'd feel good about taking the shot. Melo, Kobe, and GA. the best play in that situation is to get out of the way and let them work.

Posted by: mark | November 20, 2007 11:23 AM

Wiz by 9 tonight. Betting the PS3 on it.

Posted by: mark | November 20, 2007 11:24 AM

Comcast Cable had no idea what you were talking about? Shocker of the year.

I called Comcast last Thursday when the Terps were to be playing on Comcast Sportsnet Plus, which i wasn't sure if I got on my cable. I spoke to a customer service rep who had no idea what I was talking about, then I spoke to a supposed supervisor (though probably just the previous rep's fellow rep pretending to be a supervisor) who also said they'd never heard of Comcast Sportsnet Plus and assured me that they did not carry that channel. Then I scrolled thru all the channels and low and behold, there is comcast sportsnet plus on channel 4.

Comcast Cable is by far the biggest bunch of imbeciles I've ever encountered. I do believe they just pick up people off the street and give them jobs without any training whatsoever. It's the only explanation.

Posted by: Barno | November 20, 2007 11:26 AM

Sean's right, Turkoglu did serious damage last time around. He took it to Caron, took it to D-Mac when he was briefly in, and took it to the small guard pairing (Gil and AD) on switch-ups. Maybe now that Eddie has discovered the wheel with all this newfangled tall-ball stuff we'll see better match-ups next time around.

Posted by: Prazak | November 20, 2007 11:26 AM

I wouldnt go ahead and say that the Magic will probably lose their first road game to the Spurs. The Magic have the tools to get past the spurs so I wouldnt give them the loss yet.

Posted by: LooseCannon | November 20, 2007 11:30 AM

You "deducted" this, but you do not know this. I respected your opinion, I just believe you to be wrong. JCN is superior value to DS or any of the SG's we have at this early stage. I am not suggesting that
EG not sign DS. I am simply suggesting that if he brings in JCN then perhaps the Wiz draft someone else, say; SEAN (Nets).

This team would look a lot different, no? Time will tell with regards to this particular move.

Posted by Anon....

"if he brings in JCN then perhaps the Wiz draft someone else, say; SEAN (Nets). " ?!?!!!?!?!???
-----

Talk about revisionist history! How would you suggest the Wizards do that? Go back and ask the NBA for a "do-over" on the 2007 NBA Draft?

June 28th, the Wizards select Young and McGuire in the 2007 NBA Draft.

July 4th: The Washington Post (Ivan Carter) says negotiations with Stevenson continue; and quotes Stevenson's Agent as saying that "We're talking. Right now everything is day-to-day."
Negotiations with Stevenson were already in progress, and apparently well along!

July 4th it was reported that there was a 'rumor' that JCN had met with F. C. Barcelona and netotiated a lower buyout. That rumor had not yet been confirmed by the Wizards.

Keep in mind, that every Summer, JCN had made noises about coming to the NBA, but always stayed in Spain.

July 5th: Washington still negotiating with Stevenson & Blatche.

July 6th: The Wizards make a 4-year $12Mil offer to Stevenson.


Oh and by the way, it's not too hard to "deduce" that JCN never wanted to be a Wizard. His contract demand to the Wizards was for $3 Million per year. A number that essentially made it CERTAIN that the Wizards would not be able to sign both Stevenson and Blatche, and stay under the luxury tax. THEN, he signed with Memphis for $500K....

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 11:31 AM

"Comcast Cable is by far the biggest bunch of imbeciles I've ever encountered. I do believe they just pick up people off the street and give them jobs without any training whatsoever. It's the only explanation."

I believe that's an insult to the everyday person on the street, comcast is far more incompetent

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 11:36 AM

Who gives a s**t how many points gil shoots as long as he wins. You guys have got to be the worst fans on this earth. All you all do on this post is talk trash about Gilbert. Can't even give the brotha a rest even when he is on the bench. If he walks next season and we end up back in the cellar then what will you jack@@@es have to say. This post sucks!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 11:54 AM

I second that!

Posted by: Comcast Sucks | November 20, 2007 12:08 PM

New to this blog. An especially great article about Orlando. Thank you so much Mike Lee.

Right now - Wiz are not very interesting - nothing dynamic but as a basketball ball fan I am really enjoying Celts, Magic and Suns and watching Durant's first appearances. They will definitly be a formidable foe once they get their rhythm. Perhaps in spring Wizards will have found some continuity and actually play some real ball. I am actually surprised they haven't yet considering they still have their core players plus 2 pretty dynamic rookies MacGuire & Young. They could have left Mason off - he's still not developed. Perhaps kept Navarro or a vet.

Even with Arenas knee matter - they really should have come out the gate ballin but are still finding their way. So, I'll wait.
In mean time..I celebrate Magic and the teams flexin their muscles.

Posted by: Marshall | November 20, 2007 12:26 PM

aaaaah man!

Rook just dropped it on ya!

Hehe, everyone like to play this fantasy game about who we could have had. JCN, no matter what people think was a long shot at best for us. Ds was here, had played reasonably well and seemed like a good value.

Play fantasy with this, if we start to dance with JCN,and he is consistent with everything he has ever done before; then we don't get him and maybe we don't get DS either. DS has walked from money before. Plus after 3mil, where are we looking for resigning Blatche? Hmm, maybe other franchises smell blood and get more aggressive when they see where we are with the cap. And then some fantasy people fantasize that we should go over the cap for blatche (not that any contenders attempted the same for him this off-season) so I would then next to fantasize about next season and being in position to resign arenas and antawn... oh my.

Anyway, it's just a fantasy, cause Ernie made the smart money move of taking a known quantity over a wishful dream. And at the end of the day it was for a spot on the roster where we don't need to roll the dice.

I mean, we should look at the draft for the last 20 years and really see what we should have done differently... then we would really rock! (sarcasm)

Posted by: greg | November 20, 2007 12:33 PM

Did you just say JCN signed for $500,000?

They resigned retarded Mason for what $750,00 or $900,000? Are you kidding me?

What a waste?

Posted by: BJ | November 20, 2007 12:38 PM

Let's not forget about that other team in the Southeast with a better record than the Wiz. You'll see who I'm talking about tomorrow night. Forget J Nelson, Raymond Felton is playing some straight-up ball this year.

Go Bobcats!

Posted by: Cats_Fan | November 20, 2007 12:51 PM

Is this a Wizards website or what? If I am not mistaken, Charlotte has their own website!

GO WIZARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 12:57 PM

Izman you are dead on about what the Wizards should do when they face Orlando. SVG is a much better coach than Brian Hill, but we shall see if the Magic have the staying power. I am betting they don't and the fact that the Wizards don't have a Heat-like complex with them helps (and the fact that noted Wizards-killer Grant Hill is now in the desert).
And Mark, your lips to God's ears, but if the Wizards keep playing the same style they have the last four games, a 9-point margin might be a little low!

Posted by: George Templeton | November 20, 2007 1:01 PM


Not a good title to a blog. Magic are not that legit. They let the Celtics back in the game after holding a 20 point lead. Had Pierce not missed that 3 we'd be talking another story. The Magic are riding on a high at the moment and all their 3 point shots are falling but sooner they'll hit a cold spell plus, Rashard Lewis is known for not being a durable player he's good for missing at least 15 games this season. Also, team like the Heat and the Wizards have all-star players returning from season ending injuries so it will take time before they get back into the groove. The Magic are playing well this month but the playoffs don't start till April so let's see where they are then before we start tagging this team as a 'legit' team.

Posted by: Robert C. | November 20, 2007 1:10 PM

It was Turkoglu who killed the Wiz. His improvement on the offensive end (further assisted by the range/spreading of the floor by R Lewis and the monstrocity on the boards by D Howard) along with the consistency shown by J Nelson is paying dividends. But J Nelson can be posted up by larger guards and when that happens, they go to Arroyo who hurt the Wiz last year. Bottom line is we can't let them dictate who we put it. We need to do the dictating. They will be close games though.

Posted by: G$ | November 20, 2007 1:15 PM

Whats wrong with Stevenson? Was he trying to make a statement in the game against the Blazers? He didn't attempt a shot and passed up on open shots. Who does he think he is? Kobe/ Gilbert...lol(players who didn't attempt a shot in games to prove a point, Kobe did it against the Kings about 5 years ago and Gilbert did it against the Raptors about 4 years ago)
But Stevenson hasn't shot the ball well this season a complete reverse from last season when it was a contract year for him, what is going on?

Posted by: Robert C. | November 20, 2007 1:22 PM

I think that Stevenson has been passing the ball really well the last few games. If he starts setting up guys well, that will add a dimension to the offense.

Perhaps the reason his shot is off is that the only thing he shot this summer was a gun at his house in Orlando.

Posted by: Joe | November 20, 2007 1:46 PM

Last season was pretty much lightning in a bottle for Stevens. A one-off fluke. He'd been a subpar shooter for his entire career before last season. But he was put in a near perfect situation for a shooter in Washington and, in the grand tradition of pro sports, he put on his best show in a contract year. And, in another grand tradition, as soon as the ink was dry on the new deal, he fell back to his old ways.

The difference is that before last season, even though he couldn't shoot, he could still score by driving it to the basket. But he doesn't seem able to even do that anymore. And even when he does get to the rim, he too often fails to finish, missing layups. Maybe it's injury, maybe it's age, but clearly he's not what he was physically.

Posted by: kalorama | November 20, 2007 1:57 PM

Thanks for responding to my Comcast question. I see I am not alone...

Posted by: G Diddy | November 20, 2007 1:58 PM

"But Stevenson hasn't shot the ball well this season a complete reverse from last season when it was a contract year for him, what is going on?"

It was a contract year. Guys typically play better when money's on the line. Not to say that he's intentionally dogging it but with the increased expectations/output from BTH, he's now the 4th or 5th option on offense. Though I joined in the JCN vs DS debate this summer, I find it hard to criticize a guy who's expected to ...
1. Play great D on opposing SG's
2. Hit shots on the rare occassion that he gets the ball and is open

I imagine it must be hard to get into a groove offensively if you don't shoot much. Some guys are good at it and I understand that it's not impossible but I can't bash DS for struggling. If you really watch the games closely you'll see that DS starts off games really playing great defense. He's in the chest of the opponents. I'd be willing to bet that if you look at the stats of the guys he's guarded, they are below their average. In the Boston game, he had Ray Allen on lockdown for the first part of the game. I don't remember what happened later but he wa playing great 'deny' defense early on.
Maybe he's passing up shots because he thinks his role is to play D and that's it. I can clearly remember Rodman getting offensive rebounds underneath the basket and passing the ball back out. Of course, I can also clearly remember seeing Rodman in a wedding dress. ugh !!

Posted by: mark | November 20, 2007 2:15 PM

.. my point being that it takes someone 'special' to be able to completely focus on one aspect of the game and ignore every other. Rodman was 'special'. Not sure what DS was thinking.

Posted by: mark | November 20, 2007 2:18 PM

Did you just say JCN signed for $500,000?

They resigned retarded Mason for what $750,00 or $900,000? Are you kidding me?

What a waste?

Posted by: BJ | November 20, 2007 12:38 PM

Do people even read the posts on here or just what they want to hear. JCN wanted 3+mil to sign with the wiz! He signed with MEM for 500k not us. Please read rooks post. Hell I'll repost it for all to read again.

Posted by: the truth | November 20, 2007 2:39 PM

As to Deshawn Stevenson: Perhaps he was thinking that "I'm not really shooting the ball very well right now, let me pass the ball more and concentrate on Defense".... and maybe he's not 'special', but just limiting what he is doing to those things he is doing well right now....

Let's face it, he's never going to be a 20-point a game scorer - nor is that what the Wizards need from their "shooting" guard. As long as he continues to play decent defense, and doesn't screw up the offense too badly - I don't mind.

His assists are about the same as last year... his Turn Overs are slightly down.

So the only problem is his shooting percentage is down.... His CAREER shooting percentage is 43%, Not bad for a shooting guard in the East. His confidence in his shot is probably gone.

Is it a big surprise that he would be shooting LESS?

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 2:40 PM

June 28th, the Wizards select Young and McGuire in the 2007 NBA Draft.

July 4th: The Washington Post (Ivan Carter) says negotiations with Stevenson continue; and quotes Stevenson's Agent as saying that "We're talking. Right now everything is day-to-day."
Negotiations with Stevenson were already in progress, and apparently well along!

July 4th it was reported that there was a 'rumor' that JCN had met with F. C. Barcelona and netotiated a lower buyout. That rumor had not yet been confirmed by the Wizards.

Keep in mind, that every Summer, JCN had made noises about coming to the NBA, but always stayed in Spain.

July 5th: Washington still negotiating with Stevenson & Blatche.

July 6th: The Wizards make a 4-year $12Mil offer to Stevenson.


Oh and by the way, it's not too hard to "deduce" that JCN never wanted to be a Wizard. His contract demand to the Wizards was for $3 Million per year. A number that essentially made it CERTAIN that the Wizards would not be able to sign both Stevenson and Blatche, and stay under the luxury tax. THEN, he signed with Memphis for $500K....

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 11:31 AM

ANON-This is how it went down SO stop all the BS about we don't know for sure. wE DO KNOW FOR SURE. And JCN a superior talent to DS. hahahahahhahahahahhaha!! get real Juan the matador. Come on man watch the kid for more than 1 game. I've seen him play for the last 8yrs, your giving him WAY to much credit.

Posted by: the truth | November 20, 2007 2:46 PM

Did you just say JCN signed for $500,000?

They resigned retarded Mason for what $750,00 or $900,000? Are you kidding me?

What a waste?

Posted by: BJ | November 20, 2007 12:38 PM


Here you go BJ, you decide if the Wizards actually had a chance to sign JCN or if Ernie G was "played" by JCN and his agent:


June 28th: Wizards select Young and McGuire in the 2007 NBA Draft.

July 1st: Deshawn Stevenson opts out of the final year of his contract to become a Free Agent.

July 3rd: Some Spanish papers are reporting that Juan Carlos Navarro had has reached an accord with FC Barcelona that will let him pursue an NBA career.

Some of those same Spanish papers were reporting that "Gasol's Grizzlies could be in the mix".

Interesting that the Grizzlies would be "in the mix" for Navarro, even BEFORE the Wizards officially know that he is available.

You also have to wonder about the timing of the buyout announcement. Why did he wait until the end of the Summer to negotiate the buyout?

Why?.... One POSSIBLE reason is that the Wizards would already have set their planning for signing Stevenson, Blatche and their Draft Picks.


July 4th: The Washington Post (Ivan Carter) says negotiations with Stevenson continue; and quotes Stevenson's Agent as saying that "We're talking. Right now everything is day-to-day."
Negotiations with Stevenson were already in progress, and apparently well along!


July 4th: It was reported (Ivan Carter) that there was a rumor that JCN had met with F. C. Barcelona and netotiated a lower buyout. That rumor had not yet been confirmed by the Wizards.
Keep in mind, every Summer JCN had made noises about coming to the NBA, but always stayed in Spain. Mostly, those threats of going to the NBA were made to help negotiate a larger contract with his Spanish team.


July 5th: Washington still negotiating with Stevenson & Blatche.
Wizards signed first-round pick Nick Young and last year's first round pick, Oleksiy Pecherov, to standard rookie contracts.

July 5th: Juan Carlos Navarro is quoted in Spanish papers as saying "Memphis would be good because at the moment they have Pau, but at some point he could be changing teams. Miami would be good because of the team and because they speak plenty of Spanish there."
Why would Navarro be talking about Memphis and Miami, when Washington holds his draft rights?

Navarro's personal website also has a poll in which you can vote where he should play. The Wizards are coming in third behind Memphis and Miami!
Why would Navarro have that on his site?

DX Draft express reports that JCN is looking for a contract similar to what Sarunas Jasikevicius signed with Indiana when he came over back in 2005. -
3 years and around 12 million dollars.

Saratsis (Navarro's Agent) acknowledges that "playing with Pau Gasol, or being in an international city" where Navarro's family would feel comfortable (Miami) would both be nice.

This stuff is happening just ONE day after he negotiated a lower buyout from his Spanish team!!


July 6th: The Wizards make a 4-year offer to Stevenson.


July 16th: DeShawn Stevenson signs a four-year, $15 million contract with the Washington Wizards


July 26th: or sometime around then... FC Barcelona delivers an ultimatum to sign guard Juan Carlos Navarro or trade his NBA rights to another team by August 3rd.


August 2nd: Wizards offer a 5-year deal to Andre Blatche

August 3rd: FC Barcelona lifts Juan Carlos Navarro's trade deadline.

August 16th: Navarro deal is officially done. JCN for a top-19 protected 2008 pick.


Sometime after, Navarro signs a 1-Year minimum contract for $538K with the Grizzlies. By the way, ANYONE EVER hear where his contract demands with the Wizards were less than $3M?


Another note: Since JCN signed a 1-year deal, he will be a Free Agent at the end of the year and can sign with another team, including the Wizards.


.

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 2:48 PM

Like I said in an earlier post, I would have let JCN rot in Spain......

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 2:49 PM

Like I said in an earlier post, I would have let JCN rot in Spain......

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 02:49 PM

AMEN!

Posted by: the truth | November 20, 2007 2:51 PM

i sincerely thought the magic would be mediocre with turkoglu starting at power forward and no viable 2 guard. i'm starting to doubt my prediction though. magic are 7-0 on the road, winning games at toronto, cleveland, new jersey, new orleans, and washington. they also own a home victory against the celtics. that is pretty impressive.

maybe howard is so good that he can cover both the center and power forward positions by himself? witness garnett's numbers against the magic.

i'm holding out hope that my initial prediction will come true and opposing teams will figure out how to exploit the shooting guard and power forward matchups, but for now the magic look tough and you have to give them credit.

Posted by: notsurebut | November 20, 2007 3:11 PM

I agree on both points, Rook. No surprise DS is shooting poorly and I'd rather JCN stay in Spain. We'd have been able to get more for him next year by letting him light up Spain another year. The market would not have dried up. His value would have increased. Still don't understand why we felt we had to move him this offseason.

Posted by: freedom0125 | November 20, 2007 3:14 PM

Hey notsurebut --- why u hating the magic? I hope the wiz figure them out, don't really care about how the rest of the league handles them.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | November 20, 2007 3:29 PM

freedom0125 - FC Barcelona said that if the Wizards did not sign JCN, or trade his rights by August 3rd, they would increase his buyout back to $13 Million.

They said it was a one time offer - they would not repeat the offer next year.

I'm not so sure how real that threat was, or if JCN and/or his agent put them up to it.... but if Ernie G. THOUGHT that was a real possibility, his only option was to trade JCN for whatever he could get.

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 3:29 PM

Rook - I thought JCN's contract was up next year with Barcelona, which is why I couldn't understand why EG didn't make him stay in Spain.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | November 20, 2007 3:34 PM

I read somewhere that FC Barcelona negotiated his buy out so that IF JCN did not sign with an NBA club, Navarro would have to re-up with them (with the higher $13 Million buyout).

Again, I don't know how much of that is hype, and how much is fact. I would not be surprised to find out that JCN and/or his agent was behind the "ultimatum", AND the buyout requirements.

After all, it was not until AFTER the trade was made that it came out that FC Barcelona was willing to accept payments against the buyout over several years, allowing JCN to sign with Memphis for the minimum salary.

I'm absolutely sure that if Ernie G. knew he could sign JCN for $538K this year, he would have signed him instead of spending $770K on Rodger Mason.

Like I said, I think Ernie got punked...

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 3:49 PM


"I'd be willing to bet that if you look at the stats of the guys he's guarded, they are below their average...."

Thats the thing his defense is not that good. During crunch time of games this season and last, Stevenson is on the bench and Dainels is the one Eddie has on the floor (you can check Stevenson's minutes). His defense is good at times and yes the east has teams with tough 2 guards, (Hamilton, Allen, Wade, etc)so It's hard to play well on both sides of the court, but he isn't playing well on either side of the floor. I was watching the game between the Celtics v. Wiz and he had tough time with Allen. I'm hoping he'd pull through the slump otherwise the Wizards will have problems at the 2 guard position and Eddie will have to move Caron to 2 guard which is not good because Caron will be more prone to getting in foul trouble on the defensive side.

Posted by: Robert C. | November 20, 2007 3:51 PM

Re: Comcast
(This gets confusing because I normally use Tivo and its remote control. For the record, I use Comcast Digital out of Lanham.) I saw the whole game the other night. No printed or online source was any help until I used Comcast's remote control to check the listings using "Guide." which showed the game as being on channel 68. When I clicked on the listing for the game in Guide, I got the game on the TV, but as far as Tivo was concerned I was on channel 20 (???) and I couldn't copy it. I saw the game through the end, after which I needed to get back to more familiar territory, so I can't say what happened to 68/20 after the game ended. While the game was showing on the TV, what Tivo was actually copying was whatever movie was on 20 at the time -- but at no point had I ever dialed 20, nor had the movie ever showed up on the TV.

I was happy when the Wiz finally took over the game, because I was pissed at the Comcast gamesmanship and I was getting ready to be a really unhappy camper . . .

Posted by: Bill Carr | November 20, 2007 3:59 PM

By the way, just so you guys don't think I'm making this sh** up, I found where I read about Barcelona threatening to resign Navarro with a huge buyout for next year.

From July 25th on ESPN.com:

"Barcelona officials will take Navarro back, and give him a new contract with a buyout so massive it will essentially guarantee that he will never play in the NBA"..

here is the link:

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/truehoop/0-26-90/The-Clock-is-Ticking-on-Juan-Carlos-Navarro.html

I would like to stress again that I don't know if ANY of what was reported is true, or if JCN and/or his agent conspired with FC Barcelona to make it SEEM true - but if Ernie G. THOUGHT it was true, he had to make the best deal he could get, or risk losing a potential asset.

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 4:04 PM

Bill Carr - get DirecTV

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 4:06 PM

"in the grand tradition of pro sports, he put on his best show in a contract year. And, in another grand tradition, as soon as the ink was dry on the new deal, he fell back to his old ways.

The difference is that before last season, even though he couldn't shoot, he could still score by driving it to the basket. But he doesn't seem able to even do that anymore. And even when he does get to the rim, he too often fails to finish, missing layups. Maybe it's injury, maybe it's age, but clearly he's not what he was physically.

Posted by: kalorama | November 20, 2007 01:57 PM"

Not exactly. DS stunk it up during the playoffs and showed that he couldn't do anything without at least 2 of the big 3 out there. Not only could DS not hit a shot during the playoffs, but he didn't play any D either. Then he was rewarded by EG b/c Gilby wanted him on the team. Yippeeee!

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 20, 2007 4:21 PM

Do people even read the posts on here or just what they want to hear. JCN wanted 3+mil to sign with the wiz! He signed with MEM for 500k not us. Please read rooks post. Hell I'll repost it for all to read again.

Posted by: the truth | November 20, 2007 02:39 PM

No need, GM, Mark, you and about 3 others repeat the same stuff on the regular. You know, they believe themselves and like their own voices so that go on and on. While Prazak engages them and all, he/she tends to have pretty good comments and seemingly has little to no biases. So, there really is no need to read all or any of what these guys say.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 4:25 PM

Wow, can we say the JCN horse is officially dead? We might as well talk abou what might have been had we chosen Karl Malone over Kenny Green. Moot.

Anybody want to talk about tonight's game? Sixer's squeaked by Portland but are generally playing just average ball. Korver is out and I am guessing he is the number 2 option behind Iguodala. This is the kind of game I would usually worry about without any star power to get our starters keyed up. However, I think the streak and the opportunity to get to .500 should be incentive enough for tonight.

This is the kind of game where Eddie should go to the subs and tell them he only wants to play his starters 20 min and it's up to them to make it so. Need to start getting it into their heads that this is a veteran club with significant aspirations and we don't indulge rebuilding teams with exciting games. I would even consider resting Gilbert again unless he was just beside himself with enthusiasm to play tonight.

Posted by: Dr. Stangelove | November 20, 2007 4:27 PM

Dr Strangelove - do you want the wiz to win tonight? Our subs couldn't beat anybody in preseaon.

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | November 20, 2007 4:35 PM

Eddie should rest Gil even if he WANTS to play.

I'd rather see him really ready for Charlotte, than play against Philly.

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 4:36 PM

No need, GM, Mark, you and about 3 others repeat the same stuff on the regular.

Posted by: | November 20, 2007 04:25 PM


At least we have the guts to post with a Name...

Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 4:42 PM

2cents4wiz,
lol...yes, actually do want the Wiz to win this and every game.

EJ needs to start playing some mental challenge games with these guys. It should be a given that we will beat an inferior team and there should be additional carrots for how we beat a team and how it serves our long term goals. Also, I think over the past few games the bench has really come into its own. Blatch actually looks confident at times, Daniels ran an outstanding game in our last outing, Nick Young got his dunk out of the way and then rolled, Darius has been very consistent. Frankly, other than Iguodala I would be fine with having our bench match against the Sixers starters.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 4:46 PM

sorry, last post was mine.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | November 20, 2007 4:47 PM

No need, GM, Mark, you and about 3 others repeat the same stuff on the regular.

Posted by: | November 20, 2007 04:25 PM


At least we have the guts to post with a Name...


Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 04:42 PM

Please help us to understand what you know about guts. You are posting childish commentary on a blog (Not withstanding your dreams of one day working for the Post)for gods sake! This may require an Internet connection, but not guts. The fact that you believe this sideshow does require guts says much about your ego and what you actually get out of these electronic exchanges. Get some real guts and go to a bar.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 4:52 PM

Ok all ... on my way to the wiz game. will be watching:

1. BTH ( focus+energy = double, double)
2. Nick Young's 2nd dunk!
3. EJs rotation
4. Gils minutes

Talk to u tomorrow. Go Wiz!

Posted by: 2cents4wiz | November 20, 2007 4:52 PM

Re: Comcast
DirecTV objects to trees, otherwise, I'd do it.

Posted by: Bill Carr | November 20, 2007 5:30 PM

Orlando looks tough in the Southeast, the Hawks as well could evolve into something interesting this year as could Charlotte.
Eratic start from a promising pre-season for the Wiz; interesting mix of rooks, Blatche, Pech added to the Wiz big 3. Wiz should roll over the Sixers at home tonight but stranger things have happened if they don't.
EJ's substitution/rotation moves and player development strategy has gradually emerged as the weak link for the Wiz. Perhaps EJ and EG are under a lot of pressure for immediate W results but they must find a way to work meaningful floor time for Young and DMac. No point in drafting young players if you can't develop them, something EJ hasn't shown the magic touch with.
AD's play in the last game was characteristic of true point guard, as noted somewhere in the Post's coverage he passed up a wide open look to kick out to Nick Young who hit a 3 pointer and went on a roll from there.
Gil is obviously a supremely talented player but at this point in his career has yet to develop the temperment or head for point.
Would like to see what would happen with more heavy Blatche time in the mix with Jamison, Butler, Haywood, Daniels & GA set and 15-20 minutes a game for NY and DM. Maybe start Blatche with Jamison as sixth man on occasion as suggested elsewhere.

Posted by: Bat Guanno | November 20, 2007 5:45 PM

So, there really is no need to read all or any of what these guys say.

Posted by: | November 20, 2007 04:25 PM

And even less reason for you to post about it.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 5:52 PM

No need, GM, Mark, you and about 3 others repeat the same stuff on the regular.

Posted by: | November 20, 2007 04:25 PM


At least we have the guts to post with a Name...


Posted by: Rook | November 20, 2007 04:42 PM

Please help us to understand what you know about guts. You are posting childish commentary on a blog (Not withstanding your dreams of one day working for the Post)for gods sake! This may require an Internet connection, but not guts. The fact that you believe this sideshow does require guts says much about your ego and what you actually get out of these electronic exchanges. Get some real guts and go to a bar.

Posted by: | November 20, 2007 04:52 PM

Obviously this person is a child. Rook has posted facts and you call them childish. Yet you challenge him to go to a bar? Another 21yr old barfly. Most of us have grown past that stange in our lives. And the reason we repost it is because people don't read the facts only what they want to hear. Just like the post were someone with no name called out EG for signing RM for 750-900k when JCN signed for 500k. If you would've read or been following the wiz you would've known he wouldn't sign here for that. Go have fun at your bar and when you get a dWI enjoy big bubba in your cell.

Posted by: the truth | November 20, 2007 5:54 PM

Now THAT's the Truth!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 20, 2007 5:56 PM

"Once we got to 0-5, we really got back to working more on offense."
--EJ, in today's Philadelphia Inquirer

Posted by: John Brisker | November 20, 2007 6:14 PM

""Once we got to 0-5, we really got back to working more on offense."
--EJ, in today's Philadelphia Inquirer"

So what does that say about EJ and the players who said during preseason that they had all confidence in their offense, and only needed to focus on defense? This after what, 4 seasons with the team?

Posted by: DC Man88 | November 20, 2007 6:22 PM

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