Thursday update

-Antonio Daniels felt good on that right knee this morning and went through a full practice after scoring 18 points in 36 minutes last night.

-F Andray Blatche was excused from practice to handle some personal business but was with the team for the flight to Milwaukee and will be available tomorrow night.

-F Darius Songaila, who did not get off the bench Wednesday night against Detroit, has been bothered by a sore Achilles. However, Jordan said his decision to not play him was based more on matchups than anything else. The Wiz bench was totally outplayed last night and managed a single field goal. Detroit held a 33-8 edge in bench points.

"I wanted to go with Andray first and when I went with Andray, I wanted our forwards to max out there minutes a little bit. I went with Andray at forward with Brendan at center which we don't do a lot. That's something I wanted to look at to see if it could give us some kind of advantage there (pause)... it didn't (laugter)...so, I'm glad Darius had another day (to rest the Achilles). I'm sure he was a little bit dissapointed he didn't play but there are still a lot of games and alot of minutes for him. I think there are going to be some good matchups tomorrow and coming up for him."

-Injured F-C Oleksiy Pecherov was on the court! He was on the court! Yes, the player who has been 2-4 weeks away forever actually laced up the hoop shoes and went through some plays with assistant coaches and did some intense shooting drills. Pesh, who has been out all season with a hairline fracture in his right ankle, is still bothered by swelling in the ankle but the fracture itself is healed and he's getting closer to going through a full contact practice.


By Ivan Carter |  January 3, 2008; 2:34 PM ET
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Seems like we saw the old BTH last night. Mishandling passes, putting the ball on the floor instead of finishing a break, not clearing enough boards, and chasing guards well outside of the arc.

What was his funk?

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | January 3, 2008 3:02 PM

By the way, I want to couch (post couch?) my statement by acknowledging that BTH did not lose this game. Missing our best player and the bench being off did.


My question is more on the lines...which BTH should we expect in 2008?

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | January 3, 2008 3:03 PM


I think Brendan did well, well see how the rest of the season goes, but he's sank free throws and crashed the boards, not enough last night, in fact, nobody on the wizards did well on the boards. But Brendan has played really well, dare I say the second best big man in the southeast divison, Dwight Hoard number 1. Shaq and Zo has be a disappointment. Oakafor is also another disappointment who turned down a large offer. And the kid from ATL, Horford is playing out of position.

Brenedan is playing with more confidence because he knows Eddie can't yank him since Etan is gone for the season. And it has shown, well for the month of December he displayed it..lol

Posted by: Robert C. | January 3, 2008 3:20 PM

Pech! Pech! Pech!

Posted by: keithward64 | January 3, 2008 3:23 PM

I'm glad Pech will be available soon. But I've viewed him as being more fragile and fatigue prone even more than Andray. He probably needs to get to the weight room some more, and maybe some running for endurance?

Posted by: rgz | January 3, 2008 3:25 PM

I believe BTH did a solid (not great) job last night. It was the bench (Blatche, Young, Mason) that was AWOL.

I really thought that this will be Andre's breakout year but after last nights game I'm second guessing and that it will be 2 more years for him to be major(!) contributor to the team. As for Mason, He needs to learn to heat up quickly (ala the "microwave" vinny johnson of the Pistons in the 80-90's) to be an asset to the bench. With AD in and hopefully GA in March he's PT will sure go down (maybe 15-20 minutes).

Posted by: Dave, | January 3, 2008 3:27 PM

another note: Butler with 45 mins and Jamison with 43 minutes last night, YIKES!
In contrast, Saunders was quoted in a story some months ago that he was going to keep his starters' minutes down to have them fresh/prepared for the post season and to develop his bench! Also see Tim Legler's column in ESPN.com today.

Posted by: rgz | January 3, 2008 3:39 PM

So.... would you say Pecherov is about 2-3 weeks away?

Posted by: Donkey | January 3, 2008 3:39 PM

What is Gilbert's time table anyway? March seems kind of late. Will he even be back enough for this team to gel with him, or will he upset the this year's team ball so much everyone will revert back to standing around and waiting for him to do everything?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 3:47 PM

I wonder who EG has targeted for his for 10 day contract offering. Wilks did what he did during his short stint here, but nothing memorable.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 3, 2008 4:13 PM

UNFORTUNATLEY, I THINK ANDRAY GOT A LITTLE KWAME, IN HIM DOES NOT TAKE HIS GOOD FORTUNE SERIOUSLY,I THINK THE COACHING STAFF NEEDS TO GET IN HIS FACE A BIT.YOU DONT SEE CARON OR AJ NEEDING TO BE EXCUSED FROM PRACTICE THE DAY BEFORE A ROAD GAME IF I AM NOT MISTAKEN THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME FOR THAT CRAP THIS GOOF BALL NEEDS A WAKE UP CALL!

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | January 3, 2008 4:43 PM

Mason needs to take shots - he is still acting like he is afraid he is going to get yanked if he shoots too much. This team has too few shooters as it is.

GAR

Posted by: Bridgewater, VA | January 3, 2008 4:47 PM

Seriously, this isnt the first time AB needed personal time off. If he was only half as aggressive offensively as he is defensively we'd be alright.

Posted by: JSchon | January 3, 2008 5:19 PM

Blatche's problem seems to be all in his head right now. You can see from his body language that he's not playing with the same confidence he had a few weeks ago. Every time he makes a mistake of any kind (turnover, foul, etc.), you can actually see his head drop and his shoulders slump, like a scolded puppy. He just needs to get his head together, more than anything else.

Posted by: kalorama | January 3, 2008 5:30 PM

Who's been scolding that puppy? Wiz have some history in wrong turns with the Kwame saga. When an organization drafts players out of HS, one hopes that they undertake responsibly the development of an adolescent in the rather bizarre world of the NBA, a challenging environment for adult players to maintain even keel.
Given their personel problems over the past few seasons I wonder about Wiz management/coaching player development skills.

Posted by: myshkin | January 3, 2008 5:59 PM

I hope EJ doesn't give up on BTH and AB playing together. That front court combo gives us rebounding and shot blocking, something we've needed around here for years. It may not have worked last night but it's Detroit !! Try it again, EJ.
Pech sighting! What ??!!

Posted by: mark | January 3, 2008 6:40 PM

DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM -

All CAPS is no the way to go.

This Wizards will be OK. Don't play Gil until next season and ease Pech into the mix.

They won't make the playoffs but they will be OK.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 7:51 PM

I didn't think that the Wiz played that bad last night. The Pistons are just too good.

Detroit doesn't have a superstar to take over the game on offense. They only run the simplest of plays. Yet they dominate night after night because they execute perfectly, they make the extra pass, and they have five guys who can make open shots consistently. On defense, they're even more awesome, simply because their guys stay in front of whoever they're guarding, no matter what.

Posted by: John Brisker | January 3, 2008 8:01 PM

The Wash. Post goofed. Gilby has one son, one daughter, not two girls:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/02/AR2008010203483.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 3, 2008 8:06 PM

"Detroit doesn't have a superstar to take over the game on offense. They only run the simplest of plays. Yet they dominate night after night because they execute perfectly, they make the extra pass, and they have five guys who can make open shots consistently. On defense, they're even more awesome, simply because their guys stay in front of whoever they're guarding, no matter what.

Posted by: John Brisker | January 3, 2008 08:01 PM "

No surprise it's the well rounded teams that don't rely on one star to carry the entire that have the championship rings (ie. Pistons, Spurs, etc.).

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 3, 2008 8:10 PM

actually Ernie maybe trying to build a Detroit type model in DC. AB could develop a decent long range game, Pech and DSong can shoot mid to long range ok, AJ is normally deadly from long range and that tall Russian dude they picked a couple of years ago in the draft can also light it up from outside, so we bring him over next year or year after. Now if GA could be a little more like Billups and we can get Rip back...we might be ok in 3-4 years.

Posted by: oddjob | January 3, 2008 9:19 PM

"No surprise it's the well rounded teams that don't rely on one star to carry the entire that have the championship rings (ie. Pistons, Spurs, etc.)."

Yeah, cuz the Spurs don't have one of the guys widely regarded as among the top players in the league.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 9:26 PM

Sounds like Pesh is probably out for approximately another 2 weeks.

We gotta get more playing time for McGuire. He seems to be getting discouraged. Seems like he's trying to do too much when he gets out there, and starting to get a attitude that it doesn't matter what he does when he gets out there it doesn't make any difference, he's a garbage time player and nothing else. It's hard being a new guy on a team, let alone a new guy in a whole new league, and feel that is the hole you're getting pegged into.

I like DeShawn, he seems like a cool cat, but I just am not impressed in any way with his game. I wish he was better, but I just don't see it happening. He is possibly the worst finisher at the rim I have ever seen. I always here this talk about how explosive and athletic he is, and how he was a slam dunk champ in high school. I just don't see it. He has no smoothness whatsoever. He can't palm the ball. He plows helter skelter at the basket and chucks a ugly line drive off the backboard every time. The ball flies out of his hands, he has no body control, He is strong and plays hard, but has no talent. He is like the Micheal Ruffin of guards. He can't shoot, and isn't much of a distributer or ball handler. It just kills me to see Rip playing on Detroit, guy who loved it here and wanted to play here is whole career. Even Calbert Chaney was better than Stevenson. Alot better in fact. It's sad. Dude needs to take some Kung-Fu, yoga, judo, or even maybe ballet, something to help him cause he seriously has no gracefulness or fluidity to his game at all. Seriously he should try something. A really good drill is to tie a hand behind your back so you gotta play with one hand: handle, pass, drive, shoot, and defend one-handed. Especially when it's you're right hand that's tied (if you're right handed). But it's a great drill to improve your ball handling and shooting especially. And after playing like that for a long period, it seems easy to play when you've got both hands.

So that's my suggestion.

Posted by: Darnell | January 3, 2008 10:10 PM

"No surprise it's the well rounded teams that don't rely on one star to carry the entire that have the championship rings (ie. Pistons, Spurs, etc.)."

Yeah, Tim Duncan is just your run of the mill PFs. And Tony Parker will never lead that team to a championship.

Posted by: C.Bell | January 4, 2008 12:50 AM

GA has surgery on Nov 21 and the team originally had a 3 month timetable for his return according to Ivan's article. That means that by March, he should be ready to go full speed. Assuming he comes back in early to mid March, he'll be here for the last 20 game stretch run. Pech oughtta have fresh legs still by then. If everyone is healthy, watch out Eastern Conference !

Posted by: mark | January 4, 2008 7:54 AM

"Yeah, Tim Duncan is just your run of the mill PFs. And Tony Parker will never lead that team to a championship.

Posted by: C.Bell | January 4, 2008 12:50 AM "


Yeah, who's ever heard of Duncan? It's not like he's anywhere near being one of the top defenders in the league or most consistent players. Parker and Ginobli would be bench warmers on Les BouleS.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 4, 2008 8:26 AM

A lot of grumbling and drift in today's postings so far! Nothing that a nice win in Milwaukee won't cure, so go get 'em Wiz!

Posted by: khrabb | January 4, 2008 9:49 AM

Blatche's struggles right now aren't that uncommon for a really young guy in this league. Like most of the High School to NBA guys, he sat so much his first two years teams really didn't have a book on the kid.

What I've noticed the last few weeks is that everyone's bodying him up now. The kid's going to have to get used to alot of contact cause he's going to get it until he adjusts.

I think Eddie tried to get him going against Detriot by playing him alongside of Brendan a little to see if he could get a little more space to work with. That might work agianst other teams, Detriot has so many bigs to work with you can't out big them. And all their guys can play physical in the lane.

I'd agree that if Blatche is being excused from practice for "personal reasons" it needs to be addressed. I would think that Ed Tapscott needs to start earning his check and see the young man understands how to handle nonwork issues and arrange them around his work schedule. Boy does that sound familar, can't beleive some of the poor assed excuses I've heard over the years.

But the thing you've got to remember about Blatche is that he's in many ways he's still a kid. When an organization drafts one of these High School to pros guys that had some off the court issues that made his stock drop, there is a risk there.

I just hope that the hiring of Tapscott indicates that the Wiz are aware that they can't just turn these guys loose and expect them to know how to make their way in the NBA.

Eddie will have to try and manage the kid and look for favorable matchups to help him get off a little. The problem is that with both Thomas and Pecherov being out the Wizards have had little depth and flexibility.

Sometimes getting bounced around a little is the best way to learn anyway. If I was Jordan I'd match Songaila up with him every chance I got in practice to toughen him up a little.

All of this young bench will be prone to struggles at various times, and history says all of these guys won't pan out in the end. But there is more talent and more upside there then any Wizards team has had in recent years.

Putting up with some of the ups and downs should be worth it in the long run.

Posted by: GM | January 4, 2008 10:32 AM

Khrabb, I noticed the natives are getting restless too!

Posted by: GM | January 4, 2008 10:34 AM

DCMan and CBell, you have it all wrong. The original quote was teams like SA and DET never rely on ONE star to carry them. That doesnt mean Duncan and Parker arent stars; it just means not everything depends on one or the other (ex.Cleveland). Any one of their stars could step up at any given time. Its called comprehension people.

Posted by: Roman | January 4, 2008 10:40 AM

Seems like we saw the old BTH last night. Mishandling passes, putting the ball on the floor instead of finishing a break, not clearing enough boards, and chasing guards well outside of the arc.

What was his funk?

My question is more on the lines...which BTH should we expect in 2008?

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16
-----------------------------------------

Haywood Wednesday's stat (15 pts, 10 rebounds, 56% FG) is quite in-line with or better than his 2008 stat (10.6 pts, 8.1 rebounds, 55% FG), so I don't know what you are talking about.

Besides, I do not see him unreasonably perusing guards outside of the arc. Sometimes, in a pick-and roll, a center does need to stay with the opposing guard for a short while before his own guard can get in place to defend. I ddid not see Haywood did something way out of line there.

Wizards did give 5 offensive rebounds to Maxiell. But the fact is, Maxiell is too quick for our big men (including AB), and too strong for our little guys. He is a tough matchup giving our personnel. We do not have anybody who is particularly athletic. D Mac maybe one, but even he is dwarfed by Maxiell's (bulk) size.

I also think the reason Haywood and AB on the court together did not bear fruit maybe because they did not have chance to be on the court together, and is not a proof that the combination would not work. Have EJ tried the combination during practice? It is difficult to throw them on the court together against a good defense team (and Detroit is one) who will jump all over your unfamiliarity and uncertainty (as we saw at the beginning of the 2nd quarter, when Wizards' reserves were on the court, the offense bogged down).

Posted by: Sagaliba | January 4, 2008 10:45 AM

How much practice do they need together to know they're supposed to box their men out on the other team's offensive glass?

And on more than one occasion Haywood, after doing a nice job initially on shadowing the guard attempting to penetrate on the pick and roll, failed to even try to get back to his man even after the Wizards guard had taken up the defensive assignment above the arc. The result? A couple of wide open looks at the basket for the Pistons jumpshooting bigs.

Posted by: kalorama | January 4, 2008 11:26 AM

GM,
If AB were matched up against Songaila in practice, the only thing he'd learn is how many dunks he could get in a row before he gets tired. Songaila is THAT slow. He'd probably run around him every time. At least he'd get used to being hammered occasionally, tho. Might do him some good.
Others:
In regard to BTH, if you notice the way we defend the pick and roll, our C ius suposed to go out and trap the guard and then run back to his man. He's not just lollygagging out there. he's running the D the way Ayers has instructed him to and frankly, it works. I have yet to see a guard whip a pass to BTH's man because he failed to get back. In years past, yes. But this year, it seems to work. What usually happens is that someone from the strong side falls back and guards BTH's man and then when BTH runs back down low, the help defender falls back to the corner and gets back on his man. This sure beats the heck out of what we used to do. before this year, the C would step over and wind up having to swicth on pick and rolls, creating a mismatch every time.

Posted by: mark | January 4, 2008 11:29 AM

.....so lemme guess Pech is what about 2-4 weeks away from playing?? lol. And what, oh no look....again Andray is excused from practice for personal reasons. Ivan, what are these reasons and why does he keep missing practices. I know when I played if I missed that many practices not only would I not be playing much but all the guys who were busting there but in practice would be pissed.

Posted by: LooseCannon | January 4, 2008 11:33 AM

How much practice do they need together to know they're supposed to box their men out on the other team's offensive glass?

Posted by: kalorama
-------------------------------------------

Never enough, because I have never seen Jamsion box out his men. :)

I was talking about the offense/defense assignments. AB was kind of unsure where he needed to go when he was with Haywood together.

"A couple of wide open looks at the basket for the Pistons jumpshooting bigs" is the result of trying to help out on low post defense. This is the problem of Wizards as a whole (as I have mentioned this time and again) and not necessary Haywood's alone. The only difference is Pistons have bigs who can shoot outside shots. Interesting though, when other teams' smalls shooting open jump shots, I do not see you single out a particular Wizards to blame, but when Pistons' bigs making open shots, it is all Haywood's fault. Why is that?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2008 11:46 AM

""A couple of wide open looks at the basket for the Pistons jumpshooting bigs" is the result of trying to help out on low post defense."


Sorry, but continuing to chase Chauncey Billups two feet behind the 3 point line on the pick and roll show out after Daniels has already caught up and picked him up defensively, thus giving Rasheed a wide open 3 pointer and McDyess a wide open 17 footer, is not "trying to help out on low post defense."

His assignment is to pop out and slow the guard down, giving the Wizards defensive guard time to recover, then hustle back to his man. He blew the assignment on a couple of plays. It's not the end of the world, but it happened and it was a mistake on his part.

Posted by: kalorama | January 4, 2008 11:52 AM

The above unnamed post was mine, forgot to enter my name.

One more thing, if you look at the +/- rating of the game, Haywood has the best rating among the starters, so I don't think ALL those "open jump shots" were Haywood's fault. Of course the +/- rating needs to be taken with a grain of salt. For instance, D Mac has the best rating, but he only played for less than 3 minutes and mostly in garbage time.

Posted by: Sagaliba | January 4, 2008 11:52 AM

maybe john school?

Posted by: jones-y | January 4, 2008 12:01 PM

kalorama,

I don't recall the particular plays you mentioned, but OK, two mistakes. (That's assuming that Haywood is supposed to guard Wallace in one play and is supposed to guard McDyess in the other play, since Wallace and McDyess were on the court together much of the time, and Haywood cannot guard both at the same time.) I can mention other players who made two or more mistakes in that game too.

As I said, you never missed a chance to single out Haywood.

Posted by: Sagaliba | January 4, 2008 12:01 PM

And you never miss a chance to act like he walks on water and heals the sick and lame with his touch.

I was simply responding to (and agreeing with) a point an earlier poster made. Sorry if that upset you. (Not really.)

Posted by: kalorama | January 4, 2008 12:03 PM

It'll be interesting to see what AB can do against jianlian.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 4, 2008 12:39 PM

Guys like Barkley, Unseld, Leonard "Truck" Robinson, Larry "GrandMa Ma" Johnson (One of the funniest commercials ever outside of some of Spike Lee's stuff with Jordan), Adrian Dantley, Charles Oakley,etc. are always a tough matchup in the lane.

Bill Russell once said that 80% of rebounds are caught below the rim. Think about it, a 6'7" guy that is powerful in his lower body can leverage his big wide butt into a 7 footer's thighs. You can't jump or even spin away if there's a strong quick guy with leverage bodying you up.

Mark, I wouldn't call any fouls and let Songaila work on Blatche at practice. A guy that knows how to body up can take away alot of dunks no matter how fast the kid is. That's the point he can't go around NBA players that body him up, they'll body him right out of the lane. He's got to learn to take the contact and explode off or through it instead of stepping away from it. That's what is taking his power away.

It's really a really small difference, it's hard to see, but it's the difference between powering to the rim and going up with the kind of stuff we've seen Blatche putting up in the lane lately.

Alot of college coaches used to put their young bigs up against older vets in the summer that could teach them that lesson. Now with alot of the rules in place it's tougher for coaches to pit their young guys against vets.

I don't think the Wiz have a guy that fits that description to work with Blatche other than Songaila. He might be slow, but watch his footwork, he's learned it from Vets.

If Blatche had that kind of footwork with his talent we wouldn't be having this conversation, we'd be talking about his Allstar bid. Until somebody teaches him he'll be inconsistant at best. But he's still young and has plenty of time to learn.

Posted by: GM | January 4, 2008 2:10 PM

GM, what do you smoke on before you make these posts?

Posted by: LooseCannon | January 4, 2008 2:31 PM

Agreed, GM. He needs time to get stronger but we don't want him to lose his quickness advantage. That's one reason I prefer him at PF. He's going up against guys a little lighter at PF than at C.

I noticed a while back that it seems that width serves you almost as well as height in the NBA. Guys like Dantley, Barkley, Wes were effective because they were solid and hard to dislodge. Bernard King and Dantley were effective posting up because they had three feet of arse between themselves and the guy they were posting up. Now of course there's a limit. Oliver Miller, Hot Plate, Dinner Bell took it to extremes. Manute took it to the other extreme with his 7'7 120 lb frame.
which reminded me of something....

We've had a cast of characters come thru DC with funny nicknames. Just a short list..

Out of Service Pervis
Hot Plate Williams
Muggsy
Agent Zero
Dinner Bell Mel
The Bruise Brothers (Ruland and Mahorn ?)
Tuff Juice
Mr.Fifty / I Can't Feel My Face
The Poet

Good stuff...

Posted by: mark | January 4, 2008 2:38 PM

"I noticed a while back that it seems that width serves you almost as well as height in the NBA. Guys like Dantley, Barkley, Wes were effective because they were solid and hard to dislodge. Bernard King and Dantley were effective posting up because they had three feet of arse between themselves and the guy they were posting up. Now of course there's a limit. Oliver Miller, Hot Plate, Dinner Bell took it to extremes. Manute took it to the other extreme with his 7'7 120 lb frame.
which reminded me of something...."

I think a lot of what those guys can do back then doesn't take into consideration the rule changes that have taken effect since they've left. Rules changes include how they call illegal defenses.

For example, MJ used to camp out at the box and make his fall away jumper time and time again. Rules changed when he retired, and when he returned, he couldn't do that any more.

I'm not trying to take away from what those old timers did in the past, but times have changed, and the game's rules have evolved.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 4, 2008 2:42 PM

great post LooseC.

Ziiing!

Man you really got GM with that, I bet GM is struggling to come up with a good reply.

Don't bother GM, how can you recover from this wit? Ha, what do you smoke on... I want to guess, but I can't even try cause it is too hard to be so smart...

Hilarious.

Posted by: i smoke | January 4, 2008 2:48 PM

True, 88. Wes would be Corliss Williamson in today's game probably. I think some guys transcend the times, though. Bernard and AD would probably find ways to score even now. Some guys just have the will to find a way and I think they fit that description.

Posted by: mark | January 4, 2008 2:55 PM

AGAIN, LADIES AND GENTS. I WILL WAIT & SEE.
THEY USUALLY "WIN" AGAINST A LETHARGIC DEPLETED TEAM. ITS A GIVEN. THEY ARE AS VACANT AS A WET DISH CLOTH WHEN ON THE COURT WITH A VERY COMPETITIVE TEAM.

I HAVE NOT DRUNK THE KOOL-AID.

WHEN ONE OF THESE GUYS DECIDES TO PLAY WITH REAL "HEART" LIKE MAXIELL(hello! to all Wiz bench warmers who can't find the rim, block any shots, steal any balls....
need a sterno lit under them or a cordial invitation before they can play decent ball.

Posted by: OJ | January 4, 2008 3:02 PM

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