Wiz move up to 5th (for now)

At one point during the fourth quarter, the Miami Heat had five guys on the court who were playing in the D-League earlier this month. That's amazing. It would also explain why American Airlines Arena was maybe half full tonight. (But the Miami Heat dancers were in the house and that's all that matters. They are best in the league, hands down)

Anyway, the Wizards took care of business with a 103-86 win. They never trailed and once lead by 26. The key was excellent ball movement as the Wiz finished with 25 assists and shot 53.2 percent from the field. The Wiz have won five of six, eight of 11 and four straight on the road. Combined with Toronto's loss, they are now in fifth-place, a half game ahead of the Raptors and we know what that means: Jay-Z against Soulja Boy! Whew!

Rookie Nick Young was a late scratch with a bruised left thigh, an injury he suffered during last Thursday's win over Cleveland. It's been bothering him ever since and after he warmed up tonight, the decision was made to sit him out. Nick told me that he expects to be able to play Sunday night against Detroit.

No real update on Gilbert Arenas. He went through a pretty intense workout before the game. In one drill, he dribbled a basketball while athletic trainer Eric Waters used a stretch chord to create resistence. Arenas didn't rule himself in or out of Sunday's game against the Pistons but my gut tells me that if he comes back, it will be at some point during the road trip that opens Tuesday night in Portland.

Antawn Jamison, who put up his 39th double-double of the season tonight, has the same feeling.
"I think it's sooner," Jamison saied. "He's been really pushing it, going hard lately with no setbacks so I think somewhere this trip he'll make an appearance and start playing."

Sat next to a scout from a Western Conference team who had some very nice things to say about Eddie Jordan as a coach.
"He's one of the best in the business at getting his guys to run and execute that system. I mean, they are very good. A lot of teams try to emulate what they do but they can't do it. I think he's doing a great job. They are one of the most organized teams in the league at both ends of the floor."

"But," I replied. "Some of the folks who read my blog seem to think that Jordan's a lousy coach."

Scout: "Then they are uninformed and don't know a lick about basketball. I do this for a living and I'll tell you: he's one of the best in the business."


By Ivan Carter |  March 21, 2008; 10:51 PM ET
Previous: Wiz at Heat | Next: Arenas back tonight?

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



It's not the system that we question. It's the odd substitution patterns and late game situations.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 21, 2008 11:12 PM

Take that haters

Posted by: Smith | March 21, 2008 11:16 PM

""He's one of the best in the business at getting his guys to run and execute that system. I mean, they are very good. A lot of teams try to emulate what they do but they can't do it. I think he's doing a great job. They are one of the most organized teams in the league at both ends of the floor.""

Uhh, that's b/c Gilby wasn't on the court. EJ may run the Princeton 1/2 the time when Gilby's playing.

BTW, ask the scout how organized the team looks when EJ calls a last possession play and it's where one single player dribbles the clock all the way down from 24 seconds and then takes a prayer shot. Then EJ has the nerve to defend it by saying "I'd call that play every time."

Whatevah....

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 21, 2008 11:20 PM

Ivan, excellent post there man. Some of these people who question Eddie need to take a step back. Who out there is any better? The man is a damn good coach. Boston fans hated Doc last year, but now he looks great. Pistons fans have and still think Flip is worthless. It is so easy to 2nd guess a coach, and people need to stop it. Eddie has had injuries and all this happen to the team, yet he still has them sitting at the #5 spot. I think that is incredible.

I love it when people on this site question Eddie, yet somehow think they are some kind of expert. As if they could handle game situations better, or think players like Coby Karl or Sun Ming Ming could help out. Crazy.

Posted by: Roman | March 21, 2008 11:32 PM

DCMan's response to being called uninformed: "whatevah..."

Posted by: Smith | March 21, 2008 11:33 PM

He can coach, no doubt about it. On another note, it's pretty unacceptable that Pat Riley is ditching his team

http://washingtonwizard.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Eddie Fan | March 21, 2008 11:51 PM

"Boston fans hated Doc last year, but now he looks great.

Posted by: Roman | March 21, 2008 11:32 PM "

Duh. Wonder why. Hmm, maybe the ownership that brought in Ray Allen and KG? Maybe that had something to do with Doc's success this season.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 21, 2008 11:53 PM

Smith must be blind, since he/she thinks I only wrote "whatevah" in my comments.

Duh.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 21, 2008 11:54 PM

DC, that is exactly my point. Great players make the coaches. People here except everything out of Eddie, and then more. They think he should be perfect, and use 20/20 hindsight to critique his every move.

People need to understand that whenever a team plays bad, losses, etc. that is isnt always the coaches fault. Yet fans will never see it like this.

Posted by: Roman | March 21, 2008 11:58 PM

nice! talking through anonymous sources to bash your big time blog critics.

sorry ivan, shouldn't you be busy polishing deahawns ball sack?

Posted by: brave | March 22, 2008 12:05 AM

We're better offensively with Gilbert, so I have no idea what DCMan is going on about.

And who here criticizes Ivan? That must be a cleveland fan.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2008 12:15 AM

So Les BouleS are 2-1 against Boston this year, but Boston has a 55-13 record while Les BouleS are treading water at 35-33. So, they can get up for the good teams, but look like buffoons against the bad teams like the blowout against Orlando and Houston.

So Les BouleS players are good enough to have an edge against Boston, but have lost 20 more games overall.

I think you totally misread Ivan's input. He quoted this scout as saying EJ is a great coach and has this team running and executing the system on both ends.

This team wasn't playing any defense until EG brought Randy Ayers in for this season!

Also, EJ has to keep subbing players in and out and to issue curfews because the team either can't execute what he says, or doesn't respect him enough to do what he says. That's why Gilby openly challenged EJ last season about having to play D and preferring helter skelter instead of the Princeton, in case you forgot.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 22, 2008 12:16 AM

"We're better offensively with Gilbert, so I have no idea what DCMan is going on about.

And who here criticizes Ivan? That must be a cleveland fan.

Posted by: | March 22, 2008 12:15 AM "

Yeah, that's why Les BouleS lost the first 5 games this season, after Gilby predicted during training camp that they don't need to work on offense, just defense. Being better off offensively with Gilby doesn't necessarily translate to more wins, as Les BouleS are worse off defensively with Gilby.

"I'm just coming back this season to be an assist man and take set shots."

And, what happened to Gilby's shot 2nd half of last season before he got hurt? Les BouleS were on a death spiral out of the playoffs, and only made it because there were no more games in the season to lose.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 22, 2008 12:20 AM

As most of us who know the pro game realize EJ is one of the top coaches in the league its only people like dcman88,robp and oddjob who don't have a clue about coaching in the NBA who make mindless blogs about EJ, of course if you ask them EJ ain't got a clue, how then does a team with two of its best players(all stars) miss 70 games and the team still end up in fifth place in the East and don't give me that crap about the how weak the conference is because if they were not competing than you would say they were under achieving give the man his props he is hands down one of the top coaches in the NBA!!!!!!!!!!!.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | March 22, 2008 12:21 AM

why wouldnt a scout from another team say nice things about EJ to a reporter from the Wiz...they want us to stay mediocre, not get better any time soon to threaten them in the playoffs. So heap the praise on Eddie, make the fans think he is one of the best coaches in the league, placate the Wizard fans so they dont demand a strong leader as a coach...oh yes EJ is just fine, you cant do better than EJ Wiz fans. I've got some prime swamp land in Dade County you may want to think about investing in Ivan. This nothing but humbug boys an girls.

Posted by: oddjob | March 22, 2008 12:23 AM

"As most of us who know the pro game realize EJ is one of the top coaches in the league its only people like dcman88,robp and oddjob who don't have a clue about coaching in the NBA who make mindless blogs about EJ, of course if you ask them EJ ain't got a clue, how then does a team with two of its best players(all stars) miss 70 games and the team still end up in fifth place in the East and don't give me that crap about the how weak the conference is because if they were not competing than you would say they were under achieving give the man his props he is hands down one of the top coaches in the NBA!!!!!!!!!!!.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | March 22, 2008 12:21 AM "

You have absolutely no clue about coaching in the NBA either, so you're just as full of sh#t as everyone else is, in your mind.

EJ is such a great coach that he made a great call in alienating BTH all last season to a point where BTH wanted out. Good thing EG had the foresight to not trade BTH.

EJ can be a heckuva coach, but nobody here would know because ownership here isn't willing to do whatever it takes to win a championship. Just go ask EJ.

-------------------------------------------

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.html


"I asked Arenas last month what he thought the Wizards had to do to appease his wishes. He wouldn't campaign for the Wizards to acquire certain players, but he did say, "If you want a championship, you got to get a championship team."

He added: "I know this might not sound right, but the championship teams treat themselves like champions. You go into Miami's locker room, I'm like, 'Wow, what the hell is this?' Everything from their game-day meals for their players to every state-of-the-art thing you can imagine. As a player, why would you want to leave the locker room? I could sit there all day.

"We've been doing a better job, but it comes down to this: You treat your players like champions, they want to be champions," he added. "All the best teams in the league treat themselves first-class every day. Other players come over and think, 'They got this, they got that. Oh, I want to be here.' "

Whether Arenas was telling Abe Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld to upgrade the Wizards' facilities is up for debate. But he was clearly illustrating how the defending champions take care of their players. How the Wizards interpret Arenas's words gets to the issue of how much leverage stars have in this league."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042402488.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 22, 2008 12:30 AM

Nice post Ivan. Can't argue with what the scout had to say.

I admit that I am one who was very, very critical of EJ last year for his sub patterns always seemed to be offense driven. And I have admitted this season that I see a lot of improvement. I think this year you have to be an idiot to not see that the coaching this year has been much, much better. I give EJ some of the credit but part of me thinks he needs to share a major portion of the credit with Ayres and Hopla. I do give EJ credit for the fact that the fellows play hard and play within themselves and really seem to have chemistry together.

Solid win against Heat. Taking care of business!! A. Blatche seemed to have responded to his doghouse journey. Either that or he has his legs back. His jumper has returned and he is quickly rotating and blocking shots again. And Caron seems to have instantly go this jumper back tonight.

The DMac I have been expecting to see is starting to emerge. He is the potential stopper folks. You've heard it here since last summer.

Posted by: BmoreRev | March 22, 2008 12:32 AM

Nice to get the win, but nothing really to crow about. They just went out and took care of business, like they're supposed to do. I like McGuire's hustle and board work. Not so crazy about him pushing the ball up the floor, ignoring the guards, and pulling up for quick jumpshots with time on the clock, which he did a couple of times. I'm still waiting for Pecherov to show me something other than flat-footed, cockeyed 3-pointers.

Posted by: kalorama | March 22, 2008 3:04 AM

Nice to get the win, but nothing really to crow about. They just went out and took care of business, like they're supposed to do. I like McGuire's hustle and board work. Not so crazy about him pushing the ball up the floor, ignoring the guards, and pulling up for quick jumpshots with time on the clock, which he did a couple of times. I'm still waiting for Pecherov to show me something other than flat-footed, cockeyed 3-pointers.

Posted by: kalorama | March 22, 2008 3:06 AM

the best thing EJ has been able to do this year is use the injuries to his stars as a means of motivation. the entire team is together, which in my opinion speaks volumes of a coach considering a coach's job is to motivate ostensibly talented basketball players when they have no reason to be motivated. though i agree that his subs are questionable at times, kudos to EJ and kudos to the unity he's been able to engender amongst a depleted squad.

Posted by: thickman | March 22, 2008 3:57 AM

PLEASE!!! Don't even bring that weak crap on this blog about Haywood, it was BH who was resposible for his bad relationship with EJ just look at his perfomances before this year,I'll use one word INCONSISTENT!!! not to mention a bad attitude no doubt BH has loads of potential but he has just started to realize what he can do if he works hard and uses his ears instead of his mouth. While Gilbert Arenas is a excellent player he sometimes tries to undermine EJ'S authority with his BS,openly criticizing his coach to the media about playing defense playing no d when he is on the court not running the teams offensive patterns,if and when he comes back lets see if he is a "team" player or just a "free agent".

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | March 22, 2008 7:34 AM

PLEASE!!! Don't even bring that weak crap on this blog about Haywood, it was BH who was resposible for his bad relationship with EJ just look at his perfomances before this year,I'll use one word INCONSISTENT!!! not to mention a bad attitude no doubt BH has loads of potential but he has just started to realize what he can do if he works hard and uses his ears instead of his mouth. While Gilbert Arenas is a excellent player he sometimes tries to undermine EJ'S authority with his BS,openly criticizing his coach to the media about playing defense playing no d when he is on the court not running the teams offensive patterns,if and when he comes back lets see if he is a "team" player or just a "free agent".

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | March 22, 2008 7:34 AM

PLEASE!!! Don't even bring that weak crap on this blog about Haywood, it was BH who was resposible for his bad relationship with EJ just look at his perfomances before this year,I'll use one word INCONSISTENT!!! not to mention a bad attitude no doubt BH has loads of potential but he has just started to realize what he can do if he works hard and uses his ears instead of his mouth. While Gilbert Arenas is a excellent player he sometimes tries to undermine EJ'S authority with his BS,openly criticizing his coach to the media about playing defense playing no d when he is on the court not running the teams offensive patterns,if and when he comes back lets see if he is a "team" player or just a "free agent".

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | March 22, 2008 7:34 AM

Anyone notice how O-Pec was bright beet red last night? Looks like he needs a curfew on being in the sun!

Posted by: Don | March 22, 2008 8:19 AM

I really think that if we are actually healthy in the playoffs we can beat the Cavs. And it looks like that is going to happen.

What EJ has done with this team this season is pretty damn impressive. The difference between last year and this year is that instead of spiraling down the slots we are working are way up.

While I doubt we will pass the Cavs it is still better than Orlando or the Pistons.

Posted by: B.A.M. | March 22, 2008 8:37 AM

An unnamed source with no listed credentials and no factual support voices an opinion and Ivan treats it as the definitive word.

Here are some facts and the opinion of a reputable source.

http://www.insidehoops.com/coaches.shtml

EJ is not on the list.

Presumbaby he is on another list, but I haven't seen it.

Lastly, he's done a great job managing the suited players this year, but he is partly responsible for Gil's and Caron's 2nd injuries this year so it's a mixed picture.

Posted by: Izman | March 22, 2008 8:50 AM

Izman, did you see this?

"updated as of June 23, 2007 with records through the entire 2006-07 season and playoffs."

"Updated October 12, 2007."

Show me a list that is at least updated.

Posted by: B.A.M. | March 22, 2008 8:57 AM

Look, you can think Jordan's a good coach and still criticize some of the things he does; it's not all or nothing here. I've been a tough critic of EJ in the past; I've also said several times how he's improved greatly this year. His worst fault is, and continues to be, his under-use of Haywood. I will never, as long as I live, understand why he sits his capable center so much.

On the other hand, he's mostly given up on smallball as a tactic, which is his biggest improvement, IMO (although it has started to creep back in the last few games, as Songaila has begun to see more time at the 5 again. That could be due to Jordan's disappointment with Blatche, though, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt).

On the whole, I'd take Jordan over many other coaches. But c'mon, it's not like he's Auerbach quite yet.

Posted by: Keithinator | March 22, 2008 9:11 AM

Izman,

Sorry, but it's hard to take seriously any list that has Mike Brown as a top-10 coach. Brown is simply an incompetent. He's the Norv Turner of the NBA; terrific assistant (in this case, on defense), but can't cut it as a head coach. I'm surprised he hasn't been canned yet. Sam Mitchell doesn't belong, either.

Posted by: Keithinator | March 22, 2008 9:14 AM

I think the only point Ivan was trying to make is that EJ has some support among people who know the game...

No coach can excel in every facet of the job, and EJ has had his problems in the past with end-game management, substitutions and defensive strategy.

But surely the highest priority lies in the coach's ability to motivate players, to get them to play at the peak of their ability, to believe in themselves and in each other, and to achieve indivdual excellence within the offensive and defensive systems the coach uses...

In the NBA East this season, IMO, the coaches that seem to have accomplished this most successfully relative to the players they have had to work with are Mo Cheeks and Eddie Jordan.

Posted by: khrabb | March 22, 2008 9:16 AM

BMoreRev sez:

>>The DMac I have been expecting to see is starting to emerge. He is the potential stopper folks. You've heard it here since last summer.>>

Heard it here first...

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider/2007/06/now_it_gets_interesting.html

On Ivan & the scout:

Vindication, baby. Though Sports Illustrated has quoted scouts as saying the same thing, saying that teams throughout the league are borrowing sets from Eddie, that's he's probably the most copied coach in the biz right now.

That's a little strong, considering he's borrowing from his betters anyway, but the fact is teams looked at the Wiz success with Larry and Gil and began to draft combo guards etc.

Look, it says something when both New Orleans and Houston have run Princeton offense sets this year and managed top rankings in the superlative West. All without dominant talent, or in the absense of Yao, without dominant low-post play.

(Blame it all on Bobby Jackson...)
I don't post so much on here, tend to wallow with the stat-addicts on the Wizboard at RealGM.com/boards but the fact is the man can coach.

But folks who post the system doesn't run when Gil is out there miss the point. The key factor in Eddie's NBA hybrid of the Princeton system is about setting up mismatches.

The hated 'weave' we run is about forcing the other team to switch until we've got the defense where we want it. Usually that's Gil iso'd on a slower defender with no help behind him under the basket and the center up near the free throw line, out of place: a clear lane to attack the basket.

Or:
--Caron lose on the Wing with a guard on him, and shotblocking Bigs cleared out of the lane.
--Jamison open for an outside shot on the wing with his man (a Big) cheating off him to shade the lane)

There's a reason why we're consistently ranking high in offensive efficiency, despite having low totals in assists. It ain't just shot jacking and scrambling around pointlessly. The system is about forcing the defense into awkward positions so talented players can do what they do best.

Two key things to remember:

Watch the off ball movement and how the defenders are positioned. Do they switch, do they stick man to man?

[When we run that weave in New Orleans you can hear Byron Scott shout "No Switching!!!"]

Where is the Center?

Darius runs the high post more often.

[Complain all you want about small ball, but if Andray Blatche is gonna mature into a Princeton 5 (where his jump-shot, ball handling and passing skills will do the most damage, cause the most mismatches), well he's got to see it in action a few times].

But even Brendan is up at the elbow setting solid picks ready to roll down the lane if they overplay.

Or is the center posted on the offblock, outside the paint.

Either way this tells you where the ball is gonna start.

Regarding substitution patterns, hey when we win, we win with offense, most often. We have exactly one high-quality defensive player (Brendan) you got to run with your strengths.

Yes EJ makes subsitutions with an eye to game balance on the offensive end, because we've seen hella times out there this year when we plain can't score. Usually when we go mega-big up front.

There's a reason why players who score earn the high-dollar contracts and top lotto picks. Because it ain't easy to do. The system here is good enough that it can earn healthy contracts for every 2-guard we've ever had, if they can shoot a wide open jumper.

Or not, hey we even got Ared Effries paid.

(Mr 50 Soulja Boy Stevenson collected his tickets last year after being a player that NBA scouts rated 'the worst starter in the league' in Orlando; Isreali league veteran Roger Mason cashes in this coming offseason)

Point being: the system works, if you don't know you betta ask somebody.

Posted by: doclinkin | March 22, 2008 9:16 AM

Atlanta game: Haywood regressed. I thought his hands were getting better but five times they threw him easy passes and he couldn't catch them. In another piece of bad news, he seems to be getting confident in taking his 10-15 foot jumper.

I looked at some ESPN NBA stats. Stevenson is one of, or maybe the worst, shooters in the league. You can say all the things you want about Stevenson's intangibles,but for the Wiz to get better, he has to be replaced and become an energy guy of the bench. Somebody should teach him about shot selection too. Not too surprisingly, given some of McGuire's turnovers last night. in limited minutes, McGuire is one of the top turnover guys in the league.

I had hopes for Blatche, but he loves to take off one solo rambles to turnovers. He's another guy who loves his jumper too much. Maybe I'm expecting too much for such a young player. At games, I'm breaking out my yell of "pick it up" that I used to yell at Jeffries just before he turned the ball over.

Posted by: Chuck | March 22, 2008 9:49 AM

I have been hard on EJ as well and I do think he has done a good job, but some of his substitution patters (Songaila at center) and his unwillingness to go offense/defense at the end of the games, or his unwillingness at times to use Maguire is really hard to understand. And I don't think there is a doubt it has cost this team wins this season.
The unimaginativness with offensive plays at the end of games is also frustrating (but running bad Iso plays is the norm in the NBA, so Wiz fans aren't alone there).
And as someone else pointed out overuse of Butler and Arenas has been a problem.
The turnaround from 0-5 and the way the Wizards have battled through the injuries is admirable, but it's not as if EJ's record has no blemishes on it.

Posted by: George Templeton | March 22, 2008 9:49 AM

To change the subject with a breadth of statistical fresh air, AJ is now the #1 player in the NBA in terms of relative contribution to the team.

http://www.82games.com/ONSORT6.HTM

Pretty amazing.

Posted by: Izman | March 22, 2008 10:16 AM

EJ is such great coach on both ends that EG had to bring in a defensive coach in Randy Ayers to show the team how to play defense.

This so called "hybrid Princeton" is so good that their star player last year, Gilby, didn't want any part of it and wanted to go back to helter skelter ball.

EJ is a good, solid coach, but "best in the business" he is not. He may get there in a few years, but right now, No.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 22, 2008 10:24 AM

"But," I replied. "Some of the folks who read my blog seem to think that Jordan's a lousy coach."

Scout: "Then they are uninformed and don't know a lick about basketball. I do this for a living and I'll tell you: he's one of the best in the business."

TESTIFY!...... or... WITNESS!... or whatever... you get the point..

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 11:36 AM

Get off my jock DC MAN.

Posted by: Eddie Jordan | March 22, 2008 11:38 AM

or think players like Coby Karl or Sun Ming Ming could help out. Crazy.

Posted by: Roman | March 21, 2008 11:32 PM

TESTIFY ! , Roman

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 11:38 AM

or think players like Coby Karl or Sun Ming Ming could help out. Crazy.

Posted by: Roman | March 21, 2008 11:32 PM

TESTIFY ! , Roman

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 11:38 AM

So Les BouleS are 2-1 against Boston this year, but Boston has a 55-13 record while Les BouleS are treading water at 35-33.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 22, 2008 12:16 AM

And do you suppose that Boston would be playing 500 ball, if they were missing KG for the entire season and Allen for 1/4 the season? You think that Doc would be able to hold that team together? NO! We saw what they were like without KG and Allen last year. 24 wins 58 losses!!! And that was WITH one All-Star (Pierce).

No, Ivan is absolutely correct. The reason the Wizards have held it together this year, (even with an injury to their leading scorer-Arenas, and a big chunk of the year without their second leading scorer-Butler) rests solely on the fact that Jordan has coached his butt off this year.

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 11:47 AM

An unnamed source with no listed credentials and no factual support voices an opinion and Ivan treats it as the definitive word.

Here are some facts and the opinion of a reputable source.

http://www.insidehoops.com/coaches.shtml

EJ is not on the list.

Posted by: Izman | March 22, 2008 08:50 AM

On Ivan's blog post about Eddie Jordan's coaching THIS YEAR... you bring up an article written about coaches LAST YEAR?

How is that relevant?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2008 11:57 AM

But c'mon, it's not like he's Auerbach quite yet.

Posted by: Keithinator | March 22, 2008 09:11 AM

and Haywood is not quite Russell....

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 11:59 AM

and Haywood is not quite Russell....

Agreed. And I've never, ever said it. I called him "capable" earlier. If you don't think that fits, explain his strong PER and his high +/- (third best on the team, behind Jamison and Butler.)

Does that not fit the category "capable"?

Posted by: Keithinator | March 22, 2008 12:08 PM

DCMan, nobody said Eddie's "the best in the business", they said "one of the best". Izman, aren't you citing a one-year-old article written by a sports writer? That's a better source than a professional scout? But oddjob thinks that's just a conspiracy to . . . what? . . . trick Abe into sticking with Eddie? Okeedokee...

Eddie is definitely one of the best offensive coaches in the league, and you can look at his stints at Sacramento, NJ, and yes, D.C. as proof. He runs a high-scoring motion offense. But he didn't really blossom until Ernie saddled him with Randy Ayers, much as Doc Rivers wouldn't have thrived this year without a defensive specialist co-piloting. Neither of those former guards thinks defense first.

Posted by: Prazak | March 22, 2008 12:10 PM

and Haywood is not quite Russell....

Agreed. And I've never, ever said it. I called him "capable" earlier. If you don't think that fits, explain his strong PER and his high +/- (third best on the team, behind Jamison and Butler.)

Does that not fit the category "capable"?

Posted by: Keithinator | March 22, 2008 12:08 PM

Just pointing out that although Eddie Jordan is "not like he's Auerbach quite yet" - that the Players that Eddie Jordan is working with are not quite the same as the Players that Auerback worked with.....

It's not fair to compare a Hall-of-Fame coach who coached Hall-of-Fame players with a coach from today, UNLESS he has Hall-of-Fame type players on his team.

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 12:32 PM

Just wonderin, what was a still not 100% Caron Butler doin on the court in the 4th quarter with 4 minutes to go and a 20 point lead!?
And in a game that was a blowout from the start you could only get Pecherov 10 minutes??

Posted by: DK | March 22, 2008 12:42 PM

BTW last I looked, Pecherov was 7 ft tall. When are they gonna start puttin him down low on the post rather than on the 3-pt line? Isnt that where you want a 7 footer? We got enough 3-pt chuckers.

And I don't care what anyone sez, Deshawn Stevenson stinks and has cost us tons of games this year.
He plays defense about as good as Jared Jeffries, who can't even crack the lousy Knicks lineup.
Stop tryin to tell us how great this guy is. He stinx!

Posted by: dk | March 22, 2008 12:48 PM

Thanks for the post Ivan. Very funny you said that to the scout to get that response! I really like Eddie, and have since he got here. I like his system and personality. I hope he's here a long time.

Also, totally agree about the Heat Dancers. They are the best in the league, I'd pay just to see them, they are smokin hot!!

Liking the play lately of Darius, and very happy to see McGuire finding his niche. Both these guys can be very key role players come playoff time.

Man I would love to see Gil back vs Detroit tomorrow.

Posted by: Darnell | March 22, 2008 1:23 PM

An unnamed source with no listed credentials and no factual support voices an opinion and Ivan treats it as the definitive word.

Here are some facts and the opinion of a reputable source.

http://www.insidehoops.com/coaches.shtml

EJ is not on the list.

Posted by: Izman | March 22, 2008 08:50 AM


And who, exactly, is the "reputable source" who wrote that piece? Because I don't see a byline. And what, exactly, is his reputation? What's his background? What are his credentials? What NBA experience does he have? For all we know, the answer is "none."

But here's what we know about the scout Ivan quoted: He's paid good money to observe, evaluate, and give his input regarding the players, coaches, and strategies of other NBA teams. And he's not being paid by some sportsgeek Web site, he's being paid for his insight and input by another NBA team. His observations have been deemed worthwhile enough that another NBA team uses them as a basis for their game strategy. Your source's opinions have been deemed worthwhile enough that they get posted on a Web site that looks like it was designed by an 11 year old during study hall. So I'll take Ivan's unnamed source over yours any day.

Posted by: kalorama | March 22, 2008 1:31 PM

And who, exactly, is the "reputable source"
Posted by: kalorama | March 22, 2008 01:31 PM

Not only that Kal... but the source quoted was from October 2007.... Ivan got his quote from the Scout yesterday!!

Very important, when you are talking about whether a Coach as done a good job THIS YEAR, to quote something current.....

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 1:43 PM

Pretty good points from above. I have always been a fan of Eddie. I don't think there's a specific coach or manager anywhere that doesn't have some minor or major faults in any aspect of his coaching. EJ has them just like the rest of them. But I still think its impressive that he has taken this team from where it was his first year (atrocious) to being one of the best teams in the East when the Big Three are all healthy. (Remember: We had the best record in the East before Gilbert and Caron went down last year).

As for his defensive lapses, was it his fault that Antawn doesn't seal the baseline against Lebron in their playoff game a couple years ago and lets Lebron go around him and put the layup in for a last second win? A lot of it is just the individual players intensity and attitude.

The fact is, this is a team without a single malcontent (except, sometimes, Haywood). Every one knows their roles. That is a testament to EJ and Grunfeld. Does anyone remember what this franchise was like before they got here?

Posted by: ruyehara88 | March 22, 2008 1:46 PM

With all that has happened this year, you'd have to say that EJ is a pretty good coach to have them still above 500.

But as has already been alluded to above, you have to have at least some studs available to get something accomplished. And having AJ's leadership and scoring skills has been a godsend to the team this year, along with a more productive bench than last year.

Wes Unseld, I thought, always got a bad rap on his coaching. He really had little talent to work with on most of those teams.

I can't say the same thing about Unseld's GM skills, though.

Posted by: Tim | March 22, 2008 1:48 PM

"Look, you can think Jordan's a good coach and still criticize some of the things he does; it's not all or nothing here. I've been a tough critic of EJ in the past; I've also said several times how he's improved greatly this year. His worst fault is, and continues to be, his under-use of Haywood. I will never, as long as I live, understand why he sits his capable center so much.

On the other hand, he's mostly given up on smallball as a tactic, which is his biggest improvement, IMO (although it has started to creep back in the last few games, as Songaila has begun to see more time at the 5 again. That could be due to Jordan's disappointment with Blatche, though, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt).

On the whole, I'd take Jordan over many other coaches. But c'mon, it's not like he's Auerbach quite yet." - Keithinator

My sentiments exactly!

I would just add that his failure to get his team to buy into championship caliber defense is his biggest flaw. Ayers has helped somewhat this year, but that has nothing to do with Jordan. In fact, I remember him fighting adding any defensive assistant. I believe he doth protest too much! Then there are his substitutions and end of game coaching.

DARGREG treats Jordan like a coaching god. He needs just as much perspective as the so called "haters" he likes to dis. Jordan is ok! I doubt him ever winning anything important nor has he and there is that always present 44% career winning percentage, which DARGREG and others have never addressed.

Plus I love how a SCOUT is somehow the end all be all of NBA knowledge. A SCOUT!

Posted by: Rob P | March 22, 2008 1:48 PM

On the other hand, if you're not concerned about whether the information is "current" or not...

FROM THE SAME SOURCE:

http://www.insidehoops.com/coach-year.shtml

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 1:51 PM

"And I don't care what anyone sez, Deshawn Stevenson stinks and has cost us tons of games this year.
He plays defense about as good as Jared Jeffries, who can't even crack the lousy Knicks lineup.
Stop tryin to tell us how great this guy is. He stinx!" - dk

What dude? Stevenson is a tough hard nosed PROFESSIONAL basketball player. Every team needs players like him. He has cost us nothing. In fact, we are treading water with all our injuries and who has played EVERY game this year for us? Get a clue man. Besides, nobody has called him a GREAT player. Jared Jeffries is a cupcake of a player, which is why he can't crack the NY lineup. If you think DS is soft, then I don't know what to say to you. Your wrong probably works best!

Now your post about why Caron played 5/6 minutes in the 4th of the Miami blowout is right on. I was wondering that myself. EJ did pull him right before I was going to pull my hair out, but just say CB got hurt or aggravated his injuries during that period. What the hell would EJ has said about it??? I know he would have had a lot of explaining to do for sure!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rob P | March 22, 2008 2:03 PM

Plus I love how a SCOUT is somehow the end all be all of NBA knowledge. A SCOUT!

Posted by: Rob P | March 22, 2008 01:48 PM

I think that an NBA Scout has more cred than some WaPo blogger or some Webpage (insidehoops.com) from October 2007 that does not even bother to show a byline....

Charles Barkley has said EJ deserves coach of the year. David Aldridge said much the same thing a few weeks ago. Many other ESPN and TNT analysts, SI writers, and Local correspondents have said that Eddie deserves props for his coaching this year.

So Rob P. - show me ONE article, ONE National TV Analyst, or ONE Local Writer (other than some wanna be blogger) that thinks Eddie Jordan has done a poor job THIS year.. There... That's your assignment...

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 2:05 PM

Jeez, I guess I should be happy with so much attention.

I've found about a half dozen lists of rankings of NBA coaches (none covering this season). They don't change that much from one year to another. I saw EJ's name mentioned once. I suspect he'll make the Top 10 in the next list.

I wonder if the unnamed scout that Kalie worships has any relationship to DCMan88? Who knows, maybe he's me? Or maybe the guy just wants to get a job with the Wiz? Who knows?

I'm worried for you, Kalie. Your emotions blind you much too quickly.

Posted by: Izman | March 22, 2008 2:13 PM

shut up...we're doing well...wahwahwah go wiz !!!!!!!!

Posted by: Burg W/ a U | March 22, 2008 2:14 PM

I wonder if the unnamed scout that Kalie worships has any relationship to DCMan88? Who knows, maybe he's me? Or maybe the guy just wants to get a job with the Wiz? Who knows?

Posted by: Izman | March 22, 2008 02:13 PM

Wow, discrediting Ivan Carter on his own blog! Calling into question the validity of his sources. Calling an NBA Scout something less than an expert on coaches, schemes, and players...? Posting opinions that are contrary to leading NBA Analysts, NBA Coaches, Scouts and Beat Writers.

Some of you guys really have some big stones... (and small brains)...

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 2:24 PM

I don't need any assignments Rook. I have my own opinions and until I see great coaching with my own eyes I am not going to call EJ a great coach. I have said this year he has coached better than any other year in Washington. That is as far as I will go. But, he is still just a decent coach.

Scouts, although important, are not exactly at the top of the food chain in a sports franchise. That was my point! Plus we have no clue how good this particular scout is or if he would even give an honest opinion to a WaPo writer. Perhaps, he did not want any bulletin board material.

Why don't you explain his career 44% winning percentage? Can't wait to hear more excuses for EJ. Or, I wish Ivan had asked that question of the all knowing scout he talked too. "People in my blog criticize him" is not exactly a debating point I would use!

Posted by: Rob P | March 22, 2008 2:28 PM

Oh, I almost forgot. What almost discredits this particular scout is him stating that many other teams try to copy the Wiz. What team? Where? Why? That's a new one to me. Never heard that anywhere before in the wide world of the NBA from ANYBODY. Not even a water boy! LMAO

Posted by: Rob P | March 22, 2008 2:36 PM

On the whole, I'd take Jordan over many other coaches. But c'mon, it's not like he's Auerbach quite yet." - Keithinator

Yeah - Red Auerbach had players like:
Bill Russell HoF
Bill Sharman HoF
Bob Cousy HoF
K.C. Jones HoF
Tom Heinsohn HoF

An argument could be made that Auerback is an overrated coach... that any schmuck off the street could have coached that team and won a Championship.

I'M NOT MAKING THAT ARGUMENT! - My argument is that the PLAYERS make Coaches look good.

Look at Doc Rivers in Boston. Last year, Same Coach, same schemes, same defensive mind-set... result 24-58 - - - This year, add Garnett and Allen, and Doc's a "genius" and being mentioned for Coach of the Year.

If a team loses important players (Last year's starting Center out all year, Leading Scorer out all year, Team's best all-around player out 25 games) and they keep winning, that should reflect well on the Coach....

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 2:38 PM

"Look at Doc Rivers in Boston. Last year, Same Coach, same schemes, same defensive mind-set... result 24-58 - - - This year, add Garnett and Allen, and Doc's a "genius" and being mentioned for Coach of the Year.

If a team loses important players (Last year's starting Center out all year, Leading Scorer out all year, Team's best all-around player out 25 games) and they keep winning, that should reflect well on the Coach...." - Rook

I'll tell you I've never called Doc Rivers a genius or would consider him Coach of the Year either. Who has? But, let me ask a hypothetical. Do you think our record would be better than Boston's if Arenas and Butler were healthy all year? I don't. For one, Boston is the best defensive team in the league and our defense is ranked 11th without the defensive liability of Arenas.

As for the second paragraph, well that's a treasure trove! lol Perhaps, last year's starting center should have never been the starting center in the first place - EJ? Yes, Arenas has been out, but with two all-star players for all but 20 games this season in this terrible conference we are just over .500. So, I fail to see in all this the GREAT coaching some in here do.

A truly great coach wins year in and year out no matter what he is given for a team. Or, at least, he makes his lesser talent better than the sum or their parts. I fail to see where the Wizards have had lesser talent in this conference even given their injuries or where we have been better than the sum of our parts. A very good argument could be made that we are no better or worse than where we should be, which by definition is NOT GREAT coaching.

Utah, Lakers, Houston, New Orleans are the teams that I would pick off the top of my head as being better than the sum of their parts with Houston being at the top! All these teams are in a real basketball conference too!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2008 3:21 PM

Sorry that last post was mine.

Posted by: Rob P | March 22, 2008 4:01 PM

Great coach? No. Has he done a decent job with this particular team? Yes.

Posted by: JSchon | March 22, 2008 4:17 PM

I'll tell you I've never called Doc Rivers a genius or would consider him Coach of the Year either. Who has? But, let me ask a hypothetical. Do you think our record would be better than Boston's if Arenas and Butler were healthy all year? I don't. For one, Boston is the best defensive team in the league and our defense is ranked 11th without the defensive liability of Arenas.

Posted by: | March 22, 2008 03:21 PM

A more pertinent question, in relation to Coaching is: If Boston lost Kevin Garnett for the whole year, and Ray Allen for 25 games... would they be able to keep it together and stay in the playoff race?

My opinion is NO.

And THAT's the reason I think Eddie Jordan deserves credit for the Wizards season.

Take ANY other team, and remove their starting center from the previous year, remove their leading scorer, take their next best player out for 25 games - and see where they'd be.

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 4:37 PM

I'll tell you I've never called Doc Rivers a genius or would consider him Coach of the Year either. Who has?

http://www.thefeinline.com/blog1/2008/02/doc_rivers_for_coach_of_the_ye.html
http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/Kahn_Games/2008/01/02/And_the_coach_of_the_year_is

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2008 5:14 PM

Rook, your points are well taken. It definitely has a lot to do with the talent.

Phil Jackson is consistently called one of the top coaches of all time. Is he? It's hard to know. Coaching Jordan/Pippen and Kobe/Shaq would make a lot of coaches look good.

Eddie Jordan has, I think, become a quality coach this year. I don't put much stock in his career winning percentage, in fact, because he had terrible talent in Sacramento and his teams here have struggled with injuries. But he has led the Wiz to the playoffs the last few years, so he must be doing something right.

However, I agree with some other posters that the assistants EG brought in have made a big difference. I also think it was a comment on Jordan's coaching acumen prior to this season that Grunfeld didn't give him a long-term extension in the offseason.

That said, I do believe, given the fact that the Wiz have performed better than they should have given the injuries (IMO), that he's earned some job security.

Posted by: Keithinator | March 22, 2008 5:39 PM

Both those sources also list Eddie as a candidate. Yeah, Eddie can be infuriating sometimes with the small-ball and questionable substitutions (or lack thereof). But those of you who refuse to recognize what plenty of sportswriters and professional observers recognize are just being mule-headed.

Both Eddie and Doc are very good offensive coaches. Eddie's winning percentage is not representative of that because he had a season-plus as head coach of a pathetic Sacramento Kings team, and then has been in the thick of turning around a franchise like the Wizards. Even then, over the past four seasons he's coaching above .500. Not a lot of coaches out there can say that, especially struggling through the better part of two seasons with key players injured.

What I like about Doc is his humility. He's the first to say he's no more a hero this year than he was a goat last year. He does have those guys playing together and he runs good offensive sets that put the ball in the hands of his best players where they are most effective, despite having an inexperienced point guard running the show.

The biggest difference in Boston's and Washignton's coaching has been on the defensive end, and credit for that goes to Tom Thibodeau and Randy Ayers, respectively. I don't know what he saw in Washington that made Thibodeau run, but Randy Ayers has done a fine job here. Both assistants are making Eddie and Doc look better this year, just as Eddie made Byron Scott look better in N.J.

Posted by: Prazak | March 22, 2008 5:55 PM

Tom Thibodeau and Randy Ayers, respectively. I don't know what he saw in Washington that made Thibodeau run, but Randy Ayers has done a fine job here. Both assistants are making Eddie and Doc look better this year, just as Eddie made Byron Scott look better in N.J.

Posted by: Prazak | March 22, 2008 05:55 PM

Good point about Thibodeau. I had forgotten that he went to Boston.

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 6:02 PM

Rob P goes:

>>DARGREG treats Jordan like a coaching god. He needs just as much perspective as the so called "haters" he likes to dis. Jordan is ok! I doubt him ever winning anything important nor has he and there is that always present 44% career winning percentage, which DARGREG and others have never addressed.>>>

Alright, let's look at that.

You want to count EJ's fullrookie year as a coach go ahead, but take a look at his roster, he had Mitch Richmond and collection of dried dog turds playing in a positively nasty Western Conference:

The Tim Duncan + the Admiral Spurs.
The Stockton Malone Jazz.
The Hakeem, Barkley, Drexler Rockets.
The Garnett, Marbury, Googs T-wolves.
The Shaq, Kobe, Nick Quick, Horry Lakers
Hell the PHX Suns had KJ, Jason Kidd AND Steve Nash on their roster.

Sactown had um, what, Mitch and... Otis Thorpe? Lawrence Funderburke? Olden Polynice?

Come on now.

And as for his first year here with the Wiz: we missed our top 3 scorers for a grand total of 107 games. (Gil 55 games, Larry 61 games, Stack 26). At least he made a double digit scorer out of Kwame Brown... Should get MVP coach consideration for that alone.

Look you undermine any claim to savvy analysis if you lean on that 44% figure.

Since that injury year, EJ is batting 1000 on making the playoffs. Despite losing his best defender every year (except this one). Despite losing his starting 2-guard every year. Despite devastating injuries (last year and this year).

Managing to post a decent .52% win rate albeit with a bench manned by jack and squat.

Not the best in the league by any standard, but a solid coaching job by a guy with an uphill slope to climb and setbacks every year.

As this group matures, if we can keep the crew together, I expect him to look better and better.

Posted by: doclinkin | March 22, 2008 6:28 PM

The Wiz play hard almost every night which is a testament to their coach. They've beaten more talented team (NO, Boston, Dallas, Orando) on the road without their best players. The players obviously respect EJ or we wouldn't be the #5 seed with GA out basically the entire season and CB missing 6 weeks. Sure, EJ makes some questionable substitutions, underuses Haywood at times, and relies too much on the ISO's at the end of games. The bottom line is that the team has good chemistry, players accept their roles, and knows what it takes to win. It also doesn't hurt to have a veteran leader like AJ who's having a great season holding the team together and consistently producing. EG and Abe better be ready to ante up if he wants to keep AJ after this season.

I still think the Wiz can beat the Cavs if GA is back at even 80% by the playoffs. Without him, they still have a 50/50 chance.

Posted by: wizfan89 | March 22, 2008 6:47 PM

"Some of you guys really have some big stones... (and small brains)...

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 02:24 PM "

You have both small stones and a small brain. Go buy yourself another calculator.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 22, 2008 7:36 PM

Talent wins ball games. EJ has two all stars on his team who have played most of the year. Anyone who thinks he's done an 'extraordinary' job is mistaken. The NBA guy that Ivan talked to isn't the final word on this subject because we've probably watched more Wiz games over the course of EJ's tenure than he has. Given everything that's transpired, he's done an ok job but most of that is in regard to keeping the attitude and spirits high in the locker room despit the injuries. And a lot of that credit should go to the veterans on the team. When we talk about coaching, it's about X's and O's, sub patterns, critical situation play calling. In that respect, EJ probably deserves a B, C-, and C. His offensive system is pretty good but our defense (which he is also responsible for) is below average most times. That's a B. His sub patterns are average AT BEST. The C- is generous. The play called in crucial situations is "Give it to the best player on the team and let him create a shot". It's had to blame him for calling that play because so many other coaches do the same. That's why he deserves a C for that. The facts that we have veterans who don't make a lot of turnovers and that we shoot a high ft% keeps us in games. EJ deserves credit for hiring our shooting coach and Ayers (mixed bag) but the veteran roster is a result of someone's else's good work. While Ej is not the cause of the teams's woes, he is certainly not "coaching his butt off".

Posted by: mark | March 22, 2008 7:41 PM

"And do you suppose that Boston would be playing 500 ball, if they were missing KG for the entire season and Allen for 1/4 the season? You think that Doc would be able to hold that team together? NO! We saw what they were like without KG and Allen last year. 24 wins 58 losses!!! And that was WITH one All-Star (Pierce).

Posted by: Rook | March 22, 2008 11:47 AM "

If you look at the standings, Boston at 24 wins would be fighting for the 8th seed in the East with about 5 other teams.

Les BouleS at .515 (35-33) wouldn't even make the playoffs right now if they were a Western Conference team!!! Golden State, 8th Place, 42-26, .618.

Right now, Atlanta makes the playoffs as the 8th seed at .426, so you don't need to be playing .500 ball to make the cut!

Therefore, get off your idiotic arguments about what great a job EJ is doing and how poorly Boston would be without KG and Ray Allen. The only reason Les BouleS and their "one of the best coaches in the NBA" are still in playoff contention is because the East SUCKS!!!!

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 22, 2008 7:45 PM

"I wonder if the unnamed scout that Kalie worships has any relationship to DCMan88? Who knows, maybe he's me? Or maybe the guy just wants to get a job with the Wiz? Who knows?"

I wonder what your parents did to you that you grew up (?) to be such a useless tool.

Posted by: kalorama | March 22, 2008 9:02 PM

"Why don't you explain his career 44% winning percentage?"

Easy. The Sacramento Kings stunk when he took over the team. If they hadn't, the previous coach wouldn't have been fired. And he wasn't there long enough (1 season and 15 games) to turn things around. The Wiz stunk when he took over, but he has been here long enough to turn things around, finishing at .500 or better the last 3 years and on pace to do so again, despite a seemingly endless run of major injuries to key players. Name the last coach to lead the Bullets/Wizards to 4 consecutive .500+ seasons.

Posted by: kalorama | March 22, 2008 9:06 PM

"Les BouleS at .515 (35-33) wouldn't even make the playoffs right now if they were a Western Conference team!!!"

But they're not a Western Conference team, so who cares?

Posted by: kalorama | March 22, 2008 11:13 PM

...the question is not whether or not EJ has done a good job this year--he has. The question is whether EJ is good enough to win a ring. So far he has done nothing to suggest he could. You all have cleary pointed out his flaws and many times petty behavior, not indicative of a true leader. Any reasonable person can see these are ultimately fatal flaws, in the context of winning it all. I say Bravo EJ, you have been just what the Wiz needed for the past few years. But after this season it is time to move over and let a Big Dog come in for the kill. I'm afraid EJ just does not have the leadership ability or the ultimate respect or trust of his star players to get it done. Ernie knows this, he just needs to convince Abe.

Posted by: oddjob | March 22, 2008 11:32 PM

Caron and Antawn love Eddie - so that statement is bogus.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2008 11:55 PM

If EG had full confidence in EJ, and shared the same sentiments with this lowly, anonymous scout, he wouldn't have hired two guys to be the defensive coach on this team, ultimately settling with Ayers.

Then during training camp, EJ said that they wouldn't need to work on the offense, just the defense. What happened during the first 5 games? There was zero offensive flow, especially with EJ not regulating Gilby's minutes.

Also, if EG had full confidence in EJ, he would have traded BTH this past summer because EJ burned all bridges with BTH as BTH cleared out his locker room and name tag after last season's playoff sweep. If ET didn't go out with a heart condition, we would have probably seen the same ole jerking around of BTH and ET courtesy of EJ.

These actions clearly don't indicate that EJ knows everything on both ends of the court.

To parallel a statement from a dear friend of DC, Brian Billick: bloggers blog, scouts scout, Gilby yaps, and GM's make important decisions.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 23, 2008 12:08 AM

2 games back in the loss column to Cleveland, homecourt is up for grabs...

Posted by: Jason | March 23, 2008 1:24 AM

I was about to post something significant but my drunk roommate just spilled his guts on the living room floor. So gotta be quick with this one. Eddie can run plays but like someone mentioned earlier, its his substitution and "loyalty to players" that I question (i.e. michael ruffin, jarvis hayes)

Posted by: C.Bell | March 23, 2008 1:29 AM

It's one thing for a writer's lips to be firmly planted on the butt of a coach he is supposed to be objectively covering.

It's another for him to brag about it.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2008 8:08 AM

Here, here, Ivan! I too am psyched that the Wizards finally have one of the best coaches in the league!! When spring rolls around, we finally can enjoy lots of playoffs success ... oh, wait.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2008 8:25 AM

Is this an anti-Wizard blog or something??!! I like to read Ivan's articles and on occasion read the responses to these articles and I have come to the conclustion that maybe a lot of people who post here are not true Wizards fans. Never have I seen so many posts that put down the players and coaches on a consistent basis as I do here. Whether they are winning or losing there are more crtical than positive responses. It's always trade this person or trade that person. NO player no matter how well they play or exempt from the trade talk here. I scratch my head and often wonder what the *****? Considering what the Wiz had in the past in terms or players and coaching personnel, I think the Wiz organization is heading in the right direction. And as a season ticket holder, the games are a heck of a lot more exciting now than it was 6 years ago. I support EJ,EG and ALL of the Wiz players.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2008 8:38 AM

This from MLive.com today regarding Eddie Jordan. Thought some of the people constantly ripping him might like this:

Wizards coach praised by Pistons
Eddie Jordan is a longshot to be named this season's coach of the year. But the job he has done with the injury-riddled Wizards has not gone unnoticed. Despite a slew of injuries to key players including three-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas, Jordan currently has them fifth in the East and battling to get home court in the first round.

"It says something about the job Eddie has done, his system," Saunders said. "More so with the injuries, they've relied on their system and how they play."

Billups had similar comments about Jordan.

"I've been very impressed with them," Billups said. "They've been playing good. You can attribute a lot of that to their coach."

Hayes spent four seasons under Jordan in Washington. While he admits Jordan has done a good job dealing with the many setbacks faced by Washington this year, Hayes contends that a lot of credit should go to the players as well.

"Guys there have been listening to him," Hayes said. "That's why they've been able to stay afloat."

http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2008/03/pistons_mcdyess_ok_with_his_ro.html

Posted by: Roman | March 23, 2008 8:53 AM

DCMan goes:

>>>EJ is such great coach on both ends that EG had to bring in a defensive coach in Randy Ayers to show the team how to play defense.>>>

Interestingly the defense we run this year is the same scheme as last year, with a few LESS wrinkles. Simplified. Players are just buying into it better and executing better. Jamison especially.

(Helps that we can retain our best perimeter defender for a change, team defense requires communication and familiarity. And it helps most that Brendan put in the offseason work to improve offensively this year, especially at the free throw line where we no longer _have_ to go offense/defense in late game situations. Remains to be seen what Gilbert's improvement might be).

But Eddie deflects credit to Randy Ayers in being better able to enforce the schemes, (EJ: "He's bigger than me, if players don't listen to him he can beat them up..."). EJ gets to have a good cop/bad cop thing going on, he can cajole and try to convince the payers to buy in; Randy can knock heads and take names.

But being able to delegate responsibility, give credit, and not micro-manage is actually the sign of a good leader, not a piss-poor one.

Fact is HOFer Phil Jackson always had a defensive flamethrower on his squad (Johnny Bach in Chicago) and high-octane defensive hypertalents as coach on the floor. Hell, Avery Johnson got coach of the year nods a couple years back when he had 12 (!!!) frickin' assistant coaches.

Jordan's fine. He ain't leaving anytime soon, and will get even better as the talent develops on the back end of the bench.

Posted by: doclinkin | March 23, 2008 9:05 AM

Is this an anti-Wizard blog or something??!!

Posted by: | March 23, 2008 08:38 AM

Yeah Anon. There are at least 2 Cleveland fans posing as Wiz fans posting on this blog; and a notorious Miami Heat fan pretending to be a Wiz fan as well.

Many of the negative posts come from them.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2008 9:52 AM

">>>EJ is such great coach on both ends that EG had to bring in a defensive coach in Randy Ayers to show the team how to play defense.>>>

Interestingly the defense we run this year is the same scheme as last year, with a few LESS wrinkles. Simplified. Players are just buying into it better and executing better. Jamison especially.

(Helps that we can retain our best perimeter defender for a change, team defense requires communication and familiarity. And it helps most that Brendan put in the offseason work to improve offensively this year, especially at the free throw line where we no longer _have_ to go offense/defense in late game situations. Remains to be seen what Gilbert's improvement might be).

But Eddie deflects credit to Randy Ayers in being better able to enforce the schemes, (EJ: "He's bigger than me, if players don't listen to him he can beat them up..."). EJ gets to have a good cop/bad cop thing going on, he can cajole and try to convince the payers to buy in; Randy can knock heads and take names.

But being able to delegate responsibility, give credit, and not micro-manage is actually the sign of a good leader, not a piss-poor one.

Fact is HOFer Phil Jackson always had a defensive flamethrower on his squad (Johnny Bach in Chicago) and high-octane defensive hypertalents as coach on the floor. Hell, Avery Johnson got coach of the year nods a couple years back when he had 12 (!!!) frickin' assistant coaches.

Jordan's fine. He ain't leaving anytime soon, and will get even better as the talent develops on the back end of the bench.

Posted by: doclinkin | March 23, 2008 09:05 AM "

This is such a weak argument.

If all Ayers is doing is to play good cop/bad cop with the players, then Abe is wasting his money, and we all know that Abe always spends less than he needs to.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 23, 2008 10:34 AM

"Yeah Anon. There are at least 2 Cleveland fans posing as Wiz fans posting on this blog; and a notorious Miami Heat fan pretending to be a Wiz fan as well.

Many of the negative posts come from them.

Posted by: | March 23, 2008 09:52 AM "

Typically ridiculous from the anonymous poster.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 23, 2008 10:35 AM

"This from MLive.com today regarding Eddie Jordan. Thought some of the people constantly ripping him might like this:

Wizards coach praised by Pistons
Eddie Jordan is a longshot to be named this season's coach of the year. But the job he has done with the injury-riddled Wizards has not gone unnoticed. Despite a slew of injuries to key players including three-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas, Jordan currently has them fifth in the East and battling to get home court in the first round.

"It says something about the job Eddie has done, his system," Saunders said. "More so with the injuries, they've relied on their system and how they play."

Billups had similar comments about Jordan.

"I've been very impressed with them," Billups said. "They've been playing good. You can attribute a lot of that to their coach."

Hayes spent four seasons under Jordan in Washington. While he admits Jordan has done a good job dealing with the many setbacks faced by Washington this year, Hayes contends that a lot of credit should go to the players as well.

"Guys there have been listening to him," Hayes said. "That's why they've been able to stay afloat."

http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2008/03/pistons_mcdyess_ok_with_his_ro.html

Posted by: Roman | March 23, 2008 08:53 AM "

Ain't it great when an opposing team says nice things so as not to fan the fire of another team, instead of having a goofball diss the opposing team to give them (ie. Boston) an extra incentive to beam them?

The Pistons are a smart and gracious team, and that's why they are doing well in this sucky east, unlike .500 level teams hot and cold teams that beat the good teams, but lose to the bad teams.

Detroit has no reason to give extra ammo to a team that has done well against them.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 23, 2008 10:40 AM

"Is this an anti-Wizard blog or something??!! I like to read Ivan's articles and on occasion read the responses to these articles and I have come to the conclustion that maybe a lot of people who post here are not true Wizards fans. Never have I seen so many posts that put down the players and coaches on a consistent basis as I do here. Whether they are winning or losing there are more crtical than positive responses. It's always trade this person or trade that person. NO player no matter how well they play or exempt from the trade talk here. I scratch my head and often wonder what the *****? Considering what the Wiz had in the past in terms or players and coaching personnel, I think the Wiz organization is heading in the right direction. And as a season ticket holder, the games are a heck of a lot more exciting now than it was 6 years ago. I support EJ,EG and ALL of the Wiz players.

Posted by: | March 23, 2008 08:38 AM "

It's ridiculous to imply that only the people who have drank the Les BouleS Kool-Aid can post on this blog.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 23, 2008 10:43 AM

That scout hit the nail on the head. Anyone who believes Eddie Jordan is a lousy coach is either ill-informed, or simply doesn't know much about basketball.

Getting the Wizards to the playoffs 4 years in a row is nothing short of a miracle in this town.

Posted by: Barno | March 23, 2008 10:58 AM

I actually think that EJ is an average coach. He wins when he has very good players on the floor and loses when he doesn't. 75% of the coaches in this league are like that. There are some lousy coaches who won't win regardless of who suits up. Very few guys can win with just good or decent players. Everyone was talking about how great Pat Riley was a few years ago when Shaq was dunking and Wade was traveling his way to a championship. Look at Riley now.
Barno, I think that Gilbert, AJ, CB and Larry Hughes had a lot to do with the Wiz making the playoffs for the last 4 years. I believe most coaches in this league could have won with those guys. A few might have eked out a few more wins.

Posted by: mark | March 23, 2008 11:20 AM

"That scout hit the nail on the head. Anyone who believes Eddie Jordan is a lousy coach is either ill-informed, or simply doesn't know much about basketball.

Getting the Wizards to the playoffs 4 years in a row is nothing short of a miracle in this town.

Posted by: Barno | March 23, 2008 10:58 AM "

I think the problem with this blog theme is that Ivan way overstated what anyone has every said.

Nobody said EJ was a lousy coach.

What people have done is complain and critique certain areas like BTH vs. ET, small ball, last second shots when the game is on the line, lack of defense focus, lack of offensive discipline, etc. It's expected. EJ has not attained a level of success like a Pat Riley or Phil Jackson or Popovich where they are almost untouchable with regard to to critique and second guessing.

That doesn't mean he's a lousy coach, but by no means is EJ "one of the best in the business."

I attribute Caron and BTH's emergence this year to their own individual initiative. Also, with AJ, what we see now is what we've seen throught his career, and that's a lot of consistency.

Players on a team can make a coach look good or bad, but it's ridiculous to say that a coach should be considered for coach of the year or be considered "one of the best in the business" if the team is at .500 and there are other teams/coaches out there that have done well either with more success or even more diversity (ie. Adelman in Houston sans Yao with a cast of unknowns with TMac, Philly, NO, etc).

Look at the West. ONLY 5.5 GAMES SEPARATE THE TOP SEED VS. THE 8TH SEED.

Look at the East. 25 GAMES SEPARATE THE TOP SEED VS. TEH 8TH SEED!!!!

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 23, 2008 11:36 AM

Look I like the Wiz as much as the next guy in the DC area...I still remember the championship runs from when I was just a young teenager. I'm just not happy accepting mediocrity now that the Wiz have tasted the playoffs a few years in a row. I don't think anybody argues that EJ is an average coach with a good system that keeps teams competitive with average players (thats why its called the Princeton offense) or when their star players are hurt(see results from this year). My point is as a Wiz fan I am tired of average teams that just make it into the playoffs, not even with homecourt advantage. I want a coach, a leader who camn take the Wiz into the upper echelon of the East and keep them there for a while. I don't think asking Ernie and Abe to find a coach who can do that is asking too much. If AJ and or GA leave after this year, then the Wiz will have already waited one year too long to get a coach who can lead them to the promise land.

Posted by: oddjob | March 23, 2008 12:01 PM

Step 1: Scroll to bottom of post to see name.
Step 2: If it's not DC "man" read it, if it is, move to step 3.
Step 3: Skip post.

Criticism is one thing. I don't mind that. I don't have to read stupidity though.

IMO, the least knowledgable NBA scout knows 10 times more about ball than the most knowledgable poster on this thread. I don't think it's arguable that Jordan has done "more with less" which in all reality is the major criteria for coach of the year. I doubt he wins it though, he's got some pretty stiff competition (Scott, Rivers, Adelman, Van Gundy).

Posted by: Patrick | March 23, 2008 12:05 PM

TO Rob P: No I don't think EJ is a coaching God yes I think he does an above average job given the situation this and last season in todays NBA,with players comming out early,not fundamentally sound,huge salaries and ego's too boot coaching is a physical and physcological minefield.Red Auerbach,Red Holtzman,and others like them didn't have to deal with situations like that players were at the behest of the league and the owners their was no union if they decided your were gone that was it I'll say this EJ is a very astute coach with the X'S and O's, I watched Toronto and Cleveland friday night and believe me Mike Brown is a joke, his assitants draw up every play while he just stands there at least I see EJ drawing up his own plays and he seems to have the players attention and respect during the game.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | March 23, 2008 12:45 PM

Please stop talking about me on here. I only post on the espn boards under this name.

Posted by: Clewiston88 | March 23, 2008 1:10 PM

"Step 1: Scroll to bottom of post to see name.
Step 2: If it's not DC "man" read it, if it is, move to step 3.
Step 3: Skip post.

Criticism is one thing. I don't mind that. I don't have to read stupidity though.

IMO, the least knowledgable NBA scout knows 10 times more about ball than the most knowledgable poster on this thread. I don't think it's arguable that Jordan has done "more with less" which in all reality is the major criteria for coach of the year. I doubt he wins it though, he's got some pretty stiff competition (Scott, Rivers, Adelman, Van Gundy).

Posted by: Patrick | March 23, 2008 12:05 PM "

Patrick is a loser, but even with that, you're entitled to your opinion, which is just an opinion, just like everyone else's here.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 23, 2008 1:15 PM

"Look I like the Wiz as much as the next guy in the DC area...I still remember the championship runs from when I was just a young teenager. I'm just not happy accepting mediocrity now that the Wiz have tasted the playoffs a few years in a row. I don't think anybody argues that EJ is an average coach with a good system that keeps teams competitive with average players (thats why its called the Princeton offense) or when their star players are hurt(see results from this year). My point is as a Wiz fan I am tired of average teams that just make it into the playoffs, not even with homecourt advantage. I want a coach, a leader who camn take the Wiz into the upper echelon of the East and keep them there for a while. I don't think asking Ernie and Abe to find a coach who can do that is asking too much. If AJ and or GA leave after this year, then the Wiz will have already waited one year too long to get a coach who can lead them to the promise land.

Posted by: oddjob | March 23, 2008 12:01 PM "

EJ is clearly an average/good coach made even worse by a tightwad owner who's objective is to do just enough to make money (ie. Lux Tax welfare) and be a pretender, not a contender with even championship aspirations.

Just go ask the people Abe employs.

-------------------------------------------

"I asked Arenas last month what he thought the Wizards had to do to appease his wishes. He wouldn't campaign for the Wizards to acquire certain players, but he did say, "If you want a championship, you got to get a championship team."

He added: "I know this might not sound right, but the championship teams treat themselves like champions. You go into Miami's locker room, I'm like, 'Wow, what the hell is this?' Everything from their game-day meals for their players to every state-of-the-art thing you can imagine. As a player, why would you want to leave the locker room? I could sit there all day.

"We've been doing a better job, but it comes down to this: You treat your players like champions, they want to be champions," he added. "All the best teams in the league treat themselves first-class every day. Other players come over and think, 'They got this, they got that. Oh, I want to be here.' "

Whether Arenas was telling Abe Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld to upgrade the Wizards' facilities is up for debate. But he was clearly illustrating how the defending champions take care of their players. How the Wizards interpret Arenas's words gets to the issue of how much leverage stars have in this league."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042402488.html

On a larger scale, Jordan wants to win now. Like any coach who signed a two-year extension with a team option for the third year last summer, the continuity line gets old.

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 23, 2008 1:22 PM

Good article in the Post today by Ivan: "Wizards 'Equal Opportunity Offense' Is Catching On."

I have been posting how impressed I am with the numbers that AJ continues to put up even when the other two all stars on the team are out, to wit the playoffs last year and this year when Butler has been out, along with Arenas.

However, perhaps I have not given enough credit to EJ's offense making it easier for AJ to score even when the defense must be trying to focus on him.

(I know guys - but EJ just isn't a good coach.)

Posted by: Tim | March 23, 2008 5:05 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company