Songaila update

Got back from the locker room a little bit ago and wrote my story but wanted to drop in with an update on Darius Songaila, who played a great game but rolled his left ankle late when he came down on Antawn Jamison's foot. It's been called a mild left ankle sprain, he will not practice tomorrow and is listed as day-to-day.

I saw Darius myself and he was limping while heading to the showers and had some blue athletic tape wrapped around the ankle (reduce the swelling?). He didn't say much, only confirmed that he rolled it and referred any questions to the athletic trainers, who are calling it a mild sprain. Darius had a pretty good limp going as he walked out and had two big bags of ice under his arms so my guess is that it could be at least a few days. We'll know more tomorrow.

That was a good win. All five starters scored in double figures for only the third time this season, they kept one of New Jersey's Big 3 in check (Richard Jefferson) and the bench kicked in with some contributions (Songaila and Roger Mason Jr., who has made 17 of his last 32 shots. Caron Butler really brought in the second half, at one point outscoring the Nets 10-1 by himself.

WIz need to take care of business against Minnesota Tuesday night and end this homestand at 4-1.

By Ivan Carter |  December 9, 2007; 11:03 PM ET
Previous: Live from VC | Next: Songaila a game-time decision


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I predict we'll beat Minnesota by 20. It seems like we match up extremely well with them, Al Jefferson will get his, McCants might hit a couple threes, but I don't see Marko Jaric having a good game, we'll win going away.

Posted by: juandixonformvp | December 9, 2007 11:21 PM

The game against Minnesota is definitely a game the Wiz should win and need to win if this team wants to make a playoff push. The East is pretty bad again this year aside from Orlando, Boston and Detroit. Ending the homestand 4-1 would be quite good -- the Wiz would have won all the games they should have.

Posted by: Chad | December 10, 2007 12:02 AM

They haven't won quite all the games they should've. Remember that game in Philly? Because this is the end of the homestand (just like Philly was the end of a road trip), this game worries me a bit. I am worried about a lack of focus in this game (and a lack of frontcourt bodies if Songaila is out!).

Posted by: George Templeton | December 10, 2007 12:37 AM

Nice game tonight!

I have to admit this team is playing the way I wish they would play WITH Arenas. It's obvious there is a talent drop off, but the team has been playing some very nice team basketball including better passing, rebounding, playing better D for the most part, cutting down on penetration except for the small quicker guards (i.e. Parker)and better production from the bench!

I also have to admit this team looks like a better coached team as well. Kudos to EJ whom I've often been critical of. I almost feel like the development of the bench is happening by accident bc EJ is forced to play those guys with all the injuries. Looks like it very well may be a blessing in disguise. NY already looks way more comfortable on the court than earlier in the season and he is not as bad on D now as I thought he was going to be.

Finally, all the Roger Mason haters can be quiet now! Dude is playing solid D, has a nice shot, and is just playing nice solid mistake free basketball. I like his cool demeanor as well. I saw this last year when he finally got minutes towards the end of the season. In fact, he is starting to remind me of a younger version of Antonio Daniels.

Let's go boys! This season ain't over by a long shot!

One last I told you! I wrote in here a few times about Cleveland getting lucky and being a flash in the pan. Easiest road to a finals ever is what I said to be exact. I also said I liked our roster top to bottom much better than their's for now and the future. They suck!!!

Posted by: Rob P | December 10, 2007 1:22 AM

One last I told you! I wrote in here a few times about Cleveland getting lucky and being a flash in the pan. Easiest road to a finals ever is what I said to be exact. I also said I liked our roster top to bottom much better than their's for now and the future. They suck!!!

Posted by: Rob P | December 10, 2007 01:22 AM


A young Antonio Daniels? Cheez are you sick.

No pitiful is more like it.

Lets see if this tired team makes the playoffs.

Posted by: Miami | December 10, 2007 2:46 AM

"I have to admit this team is playing the way I wish they would play WITH Arenas."

I guess you missed the first half of last season.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2007 2:51 AM

great win today...

i love someone with a miami handle crawling in here to ring the bell. Well, I guess they have a nice view of suck, so maybe we should listen.... NAHH.


Posted by: greg | December 10, 2007 5:14 AM

cleveland is bad because lebron is out. cleveland will be good when lebron is back.

what will happen to the wiz when gilbert gets back? really good, or worse? i think really good, let's hope so, its a long way off anyway.

Posted by: andy | December 10, 2007 5:37 AM

In the first half, McGuire, Young, Blatche were on the floor together. I don't recall the other two players, but it didn't work.

Blatche and Young play well together when the Wiz need to go up-pace.

On the other hand, EJ needs to find a way to get McGuire some minutes, yet give him some protection on defense and keep some O on the floor.

Maybe the first substitution on Tuesday can be McGuire for either Butler or Jamison and bring some more firepower at the same time (either Mason for Stevenson or Blatche for Haywood).

McGuire is starting to look like a project. Unless he gets time (even in the D league), he won't improve.

Posted by: Izman | December 10, 2007 6:54 AM

It wasn't smallball that worked, it was putting a street fighter into a game that the Nets tried to turn into a brawl.

Songaila is one tough cookie in that kind of game. For once the Nets didn't break the Wiz's concentration with Bully Ball.

Kidd's getting by on alot of guts, guile, and Veteran experience. He flashes it once and awhile but the skills are beginning to diminish.

I'd agree the Nets would be best to see if they can get a package and get younger. Not a group that's getting out of the first round of the playoffs unless they can finish in the top 3 or 4 in the East and that doesn't seem to be happening.

Kidd would be the perfect fit in Cleveland at the pace they play and LaBron could take some of the load handling the ball.
Notice that Kidd doesn't have the ball in his hands near as much these days?

Butler is just willing this team to win sometimes. Defense, offense and one hell of an attitude down the stretch.

I'm surprised but Stevenson seems to be doing a decent job handling the point duties some. The adjustment has defintely helped Roger Mason out alot, he's really been contributing lately.

Sorry sometimes my posts get long, I come on in the morning and talk some basketball try and get off before the troll wakes up. I'll keep them shorter.

Posted by: GM | December 10, 2007 7:40 AM

I second everything you wrote, Rob P. Looks like Mason just needed to feel comfortable on the court. Now he's making his shots. Good teams all have a guy who can come in and hit a couple threes to loosen defenses up. Now we have one.I think it all comes down to getting consistent minutes so you can mentally prepare and be ready when your number is called. Though it's probably a result of injuries (like Rob said) it's good to see EJ putting some of our assets out there on the court. Now if we can find a way to consistently get McGuire a few minutes a game, maybe he'll start to show what he showed in preseason and summer games. Even earlier this year, he was getting a block or two every time he came in. It'll also help cut down on CB's load. I think we might legitimately be 10 or 11 deep with guys that can contribute.
Also, hats off to Songaila. I've been critical of him but he played a very good game last night. I'd hate to have to hang my hat on him performing like this every night but in spots, he's a solid player for us.
BTW, I read that practice was cancelled the other day because we didn't have 10 guys. I've never heard of such a thing before in basketball. I know we're short because of the cap situation but it's getting worse. I imagine with Sonagila hurt, we'll have to keep cancelling. Realistically, do we need to run through our sets every day? I would think NBA practices would be more about conditioning and shooting drills. Shouldn't we know our offense and defensive rotations by now? It's not like football where the playbook is voluminous. This might actually work to our benefit by keeping us fresher. Just a guess.

Posted by: mark | December 10, 2007 7:47 AM

I think the Wizards will be better when Gilbert gets back. For one thing, we now have a bench that contributes more than just fouls. For another, our main rookie will have gotten a lot of playing time and would be better prepared to contribute. Plus, having Gilbert take some of those crazy shots once in a while isn't all bad (since he makes about half of them).

Posted by: Bart | December 10, 2007 7:54 AM

BTW, the Wizards HAVE to BEAT DOWN the Timberwolves. No two ways about it. Jump on them early, get a big lead and give Caron and Jamison some rest.

Posted by: Bart | December 10, 2007 7:55 AM

Songaila better come back quick because the Times, not the Post, is reporting that Pecherov will be out an additional 2-3 weeks.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2007 7:58 AM

I agree on the Roger Mason topic. We need a catch and shoot guy who can bury that 3 pointer. Besides him, we don't appear to have anyone whose so inclined.

As for D-Mac, I'd take my time with getting him in the rotation. This is the NBA REGULAR SEASON. He's a spot minutes player right now and he will have stretches of games where he might not play. He's gotta show something in those spot minutes to warrant more time in the rotation. To date, he has not. He'll have more opportunities and he'll get better in those moments eventually but, it just hasn't happened yet.

Can we sign Jimmy Chones and Dan Roundfield to a 10 day?

Posted by: Janitor | December 10, 2007 8:05 AM

Guys, remember McGuire was a project when the Wiz drafted him. An undersized college 4 or 5 that is trying to move to the wing in the NBA.

Time will tell if he can adjust to playing in space.

Mason needed to get back to the role that he was resigned for this sumer. Stevenson needs to get some credit for being able to handle more of the point role and help out with ballhandlig.

Funny thing is it may be helping DeShawn get more involved in the offense and has snapped him out of his slump.

Nice coaching adjustment by the Wiz staff.

Posted by: GM | December 10, 2007 8:22 AM

Perhaps if DSong misses a few games, this will give an opportunity for more minutes for DMac.

It was too bad that when DMac got in last night that the group on the floor did not play well and NJ went on a run that got them 10 points in the lead. We did not see DMac again.

I said this in the preseason and earlier, DMac needs to develop his O to go along with his D game. That way it will be easier to give him minutes. He can start by developing a consistent mid-range jumper like DSong has. I think DMac can be a very good player for the Wiz eventually.

Posted by: Tim | December 10, 2007 8:24 AM

DSong will always beat his man if he's slow and unathletic (Nachbar). Now, put him up against even an average player who has some hops, length, and quickness, and DSong will be rendered ineffective.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 10, 2007 8:25 AM

I read in 'another paper' that the Wiz coaches have been forced to participate so that we can conduct practices. It would explain some of our deficiencies. I think I could take Mike O'Koren off the dribble and Wes Unseld Jr. would get his shot blocked into the stands every time. No wonder Nick Young's confidence is so high. He's scoring 50 a game against those guys in practice. Hope we get well quickly.

Posted by: mark | December 10, 2007 8:25 AM

DS dunk = holy crap. Great second half to that game.

Posted by: Nikos | December 10, 2007 8:27 AM

DS did well yesterday, but his achievements vs. his reaction is way off. Kissing your biceps and blowing in your hand? Dude, get some consistency first and hit some crucial shots for a change.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 10, 2007 8:30 AM

Hidden behind all the double-doubles is the fact that Jamison is in a mini-shooting slump. Shot only 7 of 21 last night; just 1 of 7 from 3-point range. Hopefully he breaks out against Minn.

Pecherov has been '2-3 weeks away' for about 5 weeks now. We'll see...

If Songalia can't play tomorrow, DMac might see a few extra minutes.

Posted by: reispace | December 10, 2007 8:43 AM

reispace, I was about to mention that about AJ too. It seems he's still trying to shoot way too many 3's - not bad when you're hot but not smart when you're not which he is now. It's time he start going inside with his unorthodox but very effective post flips and runners. Those are so easy and high percentage for him. That's how he'll regain his shooting touch and confidence again.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2007 9:03 AM

Sorry the above post was mine.

Posted by: Takin' a Wiz | December 10, 2007 9:05 AM

Hey look, Kobe does have quite a bit of talent on his team! All that prima donna does is complain about a lack of talent on his team, he has it but doesn't allow them to show enough of it. Those guys get a chance to show it now that they're involved and they're much more inclined to play good defense for Kobe so the team can succeed. All that talk last year and this year about Kobe and Lakers comes to one condition: if they play defense as a team, they can be pretty darn good and they're showing it again. Crunchtime should be Kobe time, but the majority of the time, it should be about the team.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2007 9:19 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2007 9:20 AM

Jamison always seems to struggle against teams that play real rough and tumble inside. He's more of a finasse power forward.

I've watched a fair amount of NJ this year, they really have become a team that wants to play rough and tumble ball.

Glad to see the Wiz pull away in that kind of a game instead of letting it mess them up. I give Butler alot of credit for that, he's really stepping up in crunch time.

Posted by: GM | December 10, 2007 9:26 AM

Cleveland did get lucky last year, but that's no reason to look past them. They had the Wiz from before, and I would heed LeBron's words to everyone about watching out. He has not been playing around this year.

The Janitor has a good point about D-Mac's minutes. EJ shouldn't "worry" about anyones playing time right now. Just let the players play and the time will work itself out on a game-by-game basis.

This team cannot afford to sleep on the T'Wolves, should not be in their DNA given the season situation. Solid on Tuesday.

Posted by: | December 10, 2007 9:28 AM

The group of guys that Eddie has to work with right now shouldn't come out over confident against anybody.

But in an 82 game schedule it's really tough to not have some nights where the team comes out flat. Hopefully there will be enough crowd there to help keep the guys in the game.

I think the toughest thing to do is go on the road and play infront of a totally dead crowd like they had in Philly.

Posted by: GM | December 10, 2007 10:37 AM

Although many people predicted the East would approach parity this year with the West, a look at the standings shows that only 3 teams are more than 1 game above .500 and mediocrity dominates. That means the Wizards can make some noise by beating the bad teams every time and holding their own with the other mediocre teams. Since their 0-5 start, the only bad loss was to Philly. In the next week or so they MUST beat Minn., Sacramento, Chicago, Atlanta & Miami at home to build a small cushion above .500. If they keep sharing the ball they definitely have the talent, even without Gil, to be a mid-seed playoff team. But any additional injuries to Daniels, Butler or Jamison will be tough to overcome.

Posted by: arnie | December 10, 2007 10:48 AM

To continue what we were talking about before DCMan, the Nets won't trade Carter, they just gave him a contract extension. Kidd wants out and helpfully (or maybe not helpfully) for the Nets, he is their most tradable asset. They have Williams a natural successor. If they can get Bynum and some other players away from the Lakers, they get the frontcourt help you are talking about.

Posted by: George Templeton | December 10, 2007 10:51 AM

Good game last night. The Wiz won and played pretty well. GO WIZARDS!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2007 11:00 AM

Fantastic game by the 'Zards. This is really a team worth rooting for. Butler and Jamison carried us again tonight, and Daniels was solid. Stevenson added that extra energy, and Haywood did his thing in the first quarter. Also, Songalia and Mason provided great, clutch minutes.

I had great seats at the game last night, and a few things I found interesting:

* After the game, Jordan rushed over to Mason and gave him a bear hug. I hope Mason can keep it up - he played tremendous defense, and he was solid on the offensive end with his dribbling and movement off the ball.

* Maguire had a game to forget. At one point, Kidd was dribbling the ball up court. Maguire yelled to his teammates "I got him." Half a second later, Kidd drove right past Maguire - you could just hear the bullfighter yell 'Ole! - for an easy layup. On the next defensive play, the Nets went right after Maguire again for an easy layup. EJ called timeout. During the timeout, the Jumbotron played a segment where a lifelong fan discussed his love for the 'Zards, and told the audience that his player to watch this year was Maguire. I think he wishes he could have that one back! Okay, I'm being harsh, as I think Maguire could turn into a player. But, he had a game to forget, that's for sure.

* Young didn't do much last night, but boy, the kid has some offensive talent. He's an old-school slasher! If he keeps his head on straight, he'll be a very good NBA player. Grunfeld knows what he's doing.

* Also, it's interesting how little the Nets move off-the-ball. It's nice to have Kidd, but the other players just kind of stand around watching him dribble the ball. I thought the Nets looked better when Kidd was off the court. Kidd's a heck of a player, but I'd rather have Nash, Paul, D-Will, Parker, or Billups at this point.

Posted by: jj | December 10, 2007 11:09 AM

"Since their 0-5 start, the only bad loss was to Philly."

I would count their losses to a then 3-9 Memphis team and a 3-7 Golden State team, both missing key players, as bad losses.

Posted by: kalorama | December 10, 2007 11:21 AM

How are they going to run practice with only 9 healthy players? Are they allowed to give some random tall dude a practice jersey?

Posted by: Dan | December 10, 2007 11:40 AM

jj, I was at the game too last night, seats were not so good off to one corner. It was a great game, but the Wizards management needs to do something about cheering. The fans suck. I wanted to shout so bad, but no idea what I was supposed to yell other than the stupid tired old "Defense". Aside from the attendance being only half the capacity, there was NO noise from the fans, no cheers, no nothing to show support for the team. some claps was all I heard. Wizards did not even provide the balloon clappers for those who sat behind the goals.

Jamison and Butler over 40 minutes each and Daniels over 30 mins. EJ has no choice, he needs to play the bench ready or not, project or not.

The Nets were very quick with Kidd on the court bringing down the ball, specially after a defensive rebound. They were slow without him, maybe they were just tired and down last night.

Posted by: rgz | December 10, 2007 11:49 AM

I'm getting tired of how Eddie is giving an overdose of mins to our key guys. He rode Gil to the ground. In the win over the nets, Jamison played 46 mins and Butler had 44 mins, while our solid bench guys like Blatche and Young played under 10 mins each.

Last year, Eddie overdosed on the Big Three. I don't think he understands the importance of rationing the minutes over the course of the season.

Posted by: CN | December 10, 2007 11:53 AM

RGZ, I noticed the same thing about the DC Wiz crowds. I think part of the issue is that it's so bright in there that it's like being in a department store. The Cap Center was dark and homey while this place is so antiseptic and bright that no one is in the mood to get rowdy. Also, there are so many corporate seats that folks are either not really fans (just given seats by their company) or are afraid to get rowdy for fear that they'll be noticed getting loud in the company seats. Whatever the reason, it's much too polite in there. The only time it gets REALLY noisy is when the 'make some noise' announcement comes over the loudspeaker and they play the piped crown noise. Shame.
The good thing is that you can actually hear the players sometimes.

Posted by: mark | December 10, 2007 12:17 PM

Now that DSong is hurt with his ankle, not only will they need Wes Unseld Jr. to suit up during practice, but they may need to have Abe don his short shorts and his chuck taylors.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 10, 2007 12:17 PM

Dan, You must be a random tall dude. Sounds like you want to get into a Wiz practice. ;)

Posted by: mark | December 10, 2007 12:18 PM

I've noticed before that McGuire is not a good ball defender. Help defense where he comes over and blocks another man's shot is his speacialty on D. Hopefully he improves on that because he has the physical skills. Though he was drafted for D, he may wind up being a better offensive player in this league because right now his strength is court vision and passing. I've been a little concerned about his rebounding because it seems to be below par now. He definitely has NBA skills but he'll have to figure out a niche.

Posted by: mark | December 10, 2007 12:20 PM

I'm certain Jordan does understand the need for players to get rest. But he also understands (although some fans don't) the need to play his best players if the team has any hope of winning. There's no point in giving Jamison and Butler extended rest to save them for the playoff push if the net result is they lose more games and there is no playoff push.

(BTW, Daniels is averaging just under 30 mpg, which is at the low end of the scale for a starter, not even in the top 100 of MPG. He's fine.)

Posted by: kalorama | December 10, 2007 12:21 PM

from jj - "and Haywood did his thing in the first quarter"

I'm just curious on BTH's average in points, rebounds and blocks during the 1st quarter....seems like his in the top 10-15 among all the centers. But for some reason disappears in the 2nd quarter onwards. Is it because he gets no time in the 2nd or maybe his conditioning is also a factor. But overall his been giving the kind of effort they need at the 5 for the team to be successful.

Posted by: Dave | December 10, 2007 12:27 PM

I see DMac is on the critics corner now. It wasn't too long ago that it was Young Hollywood. Just like with Young, Dmac will improve with more minutes. Hell, he barely gets on the court. I am sure there are still some nerves there since he hasn't played much. And once he gets more minutes, you all will see the beast he is. Caron has even talked about his basketball skills and what he brings to the game. Young was very turnover prone when he first started playing in real games. He has gotten better with more minutes and so will DMac.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2007 12:30 PM

CN, regarding the significant minutes to the stars, did you consider the possibility that it may be better to load up Caron and Antwan's minutes than to lose the game while having a more evenly distributed minute total?

Seriously, to think this team wins games without significant doses of Caron and Antwan is sort of silly. The only reason the rest of the team is playing well is because the play of (or even the threat of) those two free everyone up. Watching Cleveland without Labron gives you a sense of how lacking the rest of their team is without the threat of Labron - the same thing occurs with the Wizards.

Bottom line, EJ has to take chances on increased playing time - without it, we'll have a balanced minute total and 1/3 the amount of wins.

I do agree though that Arenas never should have been doing the minutes (or the summer activities) he engaged in. This was clearly a bad decision on all parties concerned.

Posted by: sfam | December 10, 2007 12:31 PM

McGuire's trying to figure out how to play in space. He's probably got some burns from people blowing by him last night.

Bet you he won't holler out I've got him when Kidd's near him. Help! Works much better!

There's really no saving guys right now, Eddie needs to win as many of these December games as possible. Rest the guys during some blowout losses, there's going to be some of those for sure latter in the schedule.

Posted by: GM | December 10, 2007 12:35 PM

Regarding DMac, he clearly isn't comfortable in games right now. This is very different from saying he's a bust or needs to be sent to the D-League. He needs to deal with the playing time he's getting now and learn how to get comfortable with playing 5 minute bursts.

I don't think his offense is the problem - DMac needs to learn how to get consistent defensive pressure in games. I think he'll get there in another month or so.

Posted by: sfam | December 10, 2007 12:38 PM

You guys need to really read Mike Lee's articles on here.

He's thorough, insightful. The wiz played a lethargic unhappy Jason Kidd who wants out of Jersey.(its shown in each of their games But Kidd has something the Wizards haven't touched onto just yet. M.Lee wrote about it in his article:

"He's a competitor. He loves to be on the floor. But he hates putting up triple-doubles, and giving his heart and soul to a team that seems content with getting eliminated in the first round or second round every year."

Thats my issue with the Wizards. They're happy "just makin it in" as though theirs a trophy for beating depleted teams. To me, thats settling for "less than"

As I read these posts day-in day-out thats the general consensus. Hoping they make it in, hopin for the "future" or when the day will come when everybody will be healthy and the "Zards" once again make in.

Gil is a competitor and has the same mindset. He's said in several articles -
"My goal is a championship" Guranteed -Gil wasn't and isn't happy just makin it in year after year.

Granted, the guys are playing a bit better team ball. Thanks to Ayers.

I got a question and I'm sure you'll comment. Since everyone wants to look towards the future...N.Y, MacG, Blatch, Pech. Daniels will be another yr older..and as you wrote about Kidd's skills - so too will Daniels.
Then what? I don't get excited cuz Mason "finally" found his shot.
He's been in & around league since 9/02. He should have his shot. Its Just business.

Then further, What if Arenas opts out. Jamison is gone - don't recall when Butler's contract is up but will they match some other teams offer? BTH is always up in the air..but he's doing his best because he will be a vaulable commodity on the market

Then what? Does the merry-round start again? yes unless they change their mindset & goals.

I'm with the DC long as Abe is at helm..its a notch above mediocrity and everybody "prayin to just get a win"

I agree w/Kalorama's prev comments as well.

I feel there needs to be a greater sense of urgency for higher standards and goals.
"Ready To Rule" should mean "ready to beat the teams you should beat and then some.

Its not being a "hater" its being an objective observer for years with an honest question.

Posted by: Dave | December 10, 2007 12:52 PM

"Gil is a competitor and has the same mindset. He's said in several articles -
"My goal is a championship" Guranteed -Gil wasn't and isn't happy just makin it in year after year."

My question to Gilby is how he's going to "guarantee" a championship?

It's clear that the players on this team are dropping like flies. When one comes back, two will go down. I predict the 2nd half of the season is not going to be pretty, unless they can bring in some bodies that produce come 10 day contract time.

Already, AJ is in a slump and may be burning out. CBut might be done after the all star game.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 10, 2007 1:02 PM

not that the wizards have good fans, but the crowd is usually dead during sunday evening games in verizon center. i wouldn't generalize too much from that game.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2007 1:11 PM

Bucky said there were 13K fans at VC yesterday. Methinks maybe 4K of those fans were dressed as the invisible man.

Posted by: DC Man88 | December 10, 2007 1:17 PM

Who is this LaBron everyone is referring to? You don't mean LeBron James do you?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2007 1:19 PM

rgz, mark, and others:
yeah, it was pretty empty in there. It allows you to hear the players and coaches - boy, the NJN coach sure yells - but it does take away from the atmosphere.

I'd love the 'Zards to get a band, like the Golden State Warriors or college teams. Only, I would get a Go-Go group. Play some Chuck Brown. A little "doing the butt." Just a thought...

RE: Kidd from RGZ, "The Nets were very quick with Kidd on the court bringing down the ball, specially after a defensive rebound. They were slow without him, maybe they were just tired and down last night."

That's probably right. I don't know what it is, but it seemed like something was missing out there for NJN. It's probably unfair to pin it on Kidd.

RE: Maguire, I'm with sfam and others. We're not saying he's a bad player. He's young, and he needs to learn. Last night, though, he didn't play well. EJ was right to leave him on the bench in the second half. I do think he'll get better over time, and I'm anxious to see it.

Posted by: jj | December 10, 2007 1:51 PM

Dave - I may be in the minority here, but I don't believe this Wizards team is Championship material. Of course, I didn't think Cleveland was Championship material last year either....

However, I do know that since mid-2003, when the Wizards hired Ernie Grunfeld as the President of Basketball Operations; he has steadily built a team capable of:

  • Competing, night in and night out

  • Making it to the playoffs every year
  • Through key trades (Butler, Jamison), Free Agent acquisitions (Arenas), and Draft Choices (Young, Pecherov, McGuire, Blatche); he has built a solid foundation. IN A LITTLE OVER TWO YEARS the Wizards went from a League doormat, to a perennial playoff team.

    Most of the young players are locked up for at least 4 years; including Butler, Young, Pecherov, and Blatche.

    So what if Arenas opts out and Jamison leaves? Grunfeld will be sitting there with $28 Million dollars to spend in one of the deepest Free Agent markets in years.

    No - the Wizards are not a Championship caliber team right now...But in my opinion, they will be soon; and for a long time thereafter as well.

    Posted by: Rook | December 10, 2007 1:56 PM

    Rook, Thanks for an honest answer.
    I see your point in that its still all futuristic thinking which can be said of Miami, LA, Minne, Cleveland, Philly, or any other mid to average team. The choices, abilities and options are there for whoseever which still speaks to Mike Lee's statement of Kidd. But we'll see.

    Posted by: Dave | December 10, 2007 3:41 PM

    Rook, Thanks for an honest answer.
    I see your point in that its still all futuristic thinking

    Posted by: Dave | December 10, 2007 03:41 PM

    See, there's the difference in the way a team is bulit versus bought. Miami was able to get a Championship after obtaining Shaq... but has not been even close since. And they won't get back in my opinion. LA and Cleveland have the same problems as most "Superstar" saddled teams - not enough room to improve. They both overspent, trying to get complimentary players to their Superstar. (Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, Larry Hughes, Eric Snow)..

    If you look at San Antonio, or Phoenix however, you see that they have complimentary players at reasonable salaries....and I think that's how Grunfeld is building the Wizards.

    San Antonio has almost the perfect blueprint. Superstar making $19-20M (Duncan), All-Star compliments making $9-10M (Ginobli, Parker), other players making $5M or less.

    You can spend money on your Superstar player, but be more realistic with the complimentary players. Which is why Hughes and Jeffries are no longer here.

    Now if Grunfeld can just find a way to dump Etan Thomas' $6.8M salary.....

    Posted by: Rook | December 10, 2007 3:59 PM

    "A little "doing the butt." Just a thought...

    Posted by: jj | December 10, 2007 01:51 PM"

    That song was by EU, not Chuck Brown.

    If you want some real go go, stick with Rare Essense, not EU. "Lock It" would be appropriate for VC in Chinatown.

    Here's a video to enlighten ya'll bamas.

    Posted by: DC Man88 | December 10, 2007 11:14 PM

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