Butler brings it

That is what an all-star is supposed to do. I wrote yesterday that in order for the Wizards to win tonight, they needed to rebound and get a big time performance from one of their all-stars: Caron Butler or Antawn Jamison.

The were out-boarded by only one and Butler came through with 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists. He scored the game winner and also earned a little payback on LeBron James by sliding up to James just before the final possession and saying something.

"I just told him to make the season interesting," Butler said. "Let's take it back to DC. And he started laughing. You know, I had to get him back for what he did to Gilbert a couple of years ago at the foul line."

Two interesting things about the final two plays.

-Butler appeared to be fouled by James on his game winning bucket but he also appeared to shuffle his feet. Ironic. Neither was called and the ball went in.

-On his drive, James drew some contact but if you watch closely, look at how Zydrunas Ilgauskas shoves his fellow Lithuanian, Darius Songaila, into James at the end of the play. That was the contact. Savvy move by big Z who did the same thing at the end of that disputed Philly game. But Songaila did a good job of moving away enough to not draw the foul. The amazing thing was how quiet the arena was. They were stunned that A) James missed and B) no foul was called.

A final word from Butler, who has not participated in the goofy stuff throughout this series and was a little ticked off by it:

"Don't judge this team by comments," he said. "LeBron made a statement: 'these guys are talkers' but unless you hear something from the captains, which would be myself and Antawn, don't label that as the team. I'm the voice of this team and Antawn is the spiritual and emotional leader so unless you hear it from one of us, keep it moving."

That about sums it up.

By Ivan Carter |  April 30, 2008; 11:47 PM ET
Previous: Wizards Bring It Back Home | Next: Breaking Down Game 5

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Great finish to this game; I'm glad the Wiz came out ready and played hard with the season on the line. Time to win back at DC, and the Wizards can do it.

Posted by: Krem | May 1, 2008 12:05 AM

Tough juice tastes better than whine

Posted by: Caron | May 1, 2008 12:18 AM

Call me a homer but I would gladly take Caron, DeShawn, Antawn and the rest of our guys over the LeTravelling James crew any day of the week, no matter how many 8-step-to-the-basket layups LeBaby enjoys over the rest of his career.

Haywood is a beast and shouldn't have fouled out on that garbage. He is the most underrated 5 in the NBA.

Roger Mason Jr. is the NBA's best kept secret. Unfortunately he might be playing his way into a bigger role on another team next year.

Does anyone know where Andray has been? I love Songaila's toughness and tenacity but we could definitely use some more size out there at times.

Posted by: True Zards Fan | May 1, 2008 12:19 AM

I'll be there on Friday.


Let's take it to game 7!!!!

Posted by: Will from Rockville | May 1, 2008 12:25 AM

I used to have a healthy respect for LeBron James.... before this series started, I thought he was the 2nd best player in the game behind Kobe. - - - and a good "face" for the League.

I was able to overlook the constant non-calls on his travelling. The fact that he seems to never get called for a foul on defense. He is never whistled for charging. After all, he's a Superstar, and those players deserve to get those calls.... right?

Now?

I think they guy's a poser. Says one thing in front of the camera, does something else behind closed doors. The acting especially galls me. He and Mike Brown have trumped up this whole thing in the media that the Wizards are trying to "hurt" LeBaby... and the Referees are buying into it.!! Wizards being called "Thugs" in the media... Dirty players. When, in reality, it's only Playoff basketball... The Technical on Songaila being just the latest in a series of egregious mistakes by the Referees, brought on by the hype of Mike Brown and LeBaby..

LeBron will find out that he won't get those same calls against Boston...... I think that the Wizards will lose in 7 games to the Cavaliers... Not because they're a better team... but because the Wizards have to play against both the Cavaliers AND the Referees...

The Cavs will go on to play Boston. Pierce and KG will flat out laugh at LeBaby if he tries any of the crap he's done in this series!! And believe me, the Celtics KNOW how to play Playoff basketball - with hard fouls... no layups.... earn it at the stripe! LeBaby will have to try to actually win the games with basketball skills, and not with acting!

Posted by: Rook | May 1, 2008 12:34 AM

@ True Zards Fan,

I would not count Blatche as "size". Tall maybe, but skinny as a rail.

Ivan,

Nice point on the shove by Z. Did not catch that myself. It's just ironic how much Cleveland, the team and fans, expect those fouls to be called. That's about all you have to say right there.

The no calls at the very end were fine, but throughout the game it was brutal. Someone stated on here that LeBron had ZERO fouls? What? He had one drive where he banged into Songalia who had been standing outside the circle for an eternity. Guess bc he
did not fall - Foul Songalia.
The one wild shot/block on Caron's drive with about 1:30 left - LeBron comes from CB's left and takes out his left forearm. Not even close to the ball. Love the DVR!
LeBron's one slashing dunk was an easy three steps. Watched that like 3/4 times. Counted to 3 every time. To be fair, the Daniels layup was a walk as well. How embarrassing if they had called that one!

Posted by: Rob P | May 1, 2008 12:38 AM

Big ups to Legler on NBA Fastbreak.

First "national" media guy to be honest about the Songalia play. "Two guys just got tied up" - EXACTLY. Cleveland is full of babies. So tired of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ha, just referred to LeBron's baseline travel a couple of years ago - "6 steps on the baseline", while pointing out that CB might have traveled on his shot tonight. I think he did, but it was not a flat out obvious travel AND he did get fouled, which wasn't called.

Posted by: Rob P | May 1, 2008 12:49 AM

Did y'all see Songalia b!tch slap LeCryBaby?

Posted by: 2cents | May 1, 2008 12:51 AM

Just watched the Wizards highlights on NBA fastbreak and I have to laugh. The announcer says "Oh Butler probably traveled there." And of course the announcer conveniently ignored the fact that LeBron DID travel on his miss at the end.
I will give the announcer credit for saying that LeBron took 6 steps in the Game 5 two years ago. Even still the willingness to ignore what LeBron gets away with is staggering.
I wonder if any of the Cavs fans that love to run their traps in here will have the gall to complain about Butler's alleged traveling at the end of the game.

Posted by: George Templeton | May 1, 2008 1:06 AM

The series is effectively over.

Posted by: kalorama | April 27, 2008 8:13 PM

I'm just curious, do you still feel this way?

Posted by: Barno | May 1, 2008 1:29 AM

did anyone see Queen James' post game interview? what an EGO???

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 1:48 AM

Even as a Cavs fan and it being a closeout game, I did not get that into this game nearly as much as I should. The cause: The atrociousness of the play by both teams. Nearly double digit turnovers by both teams in the first half. The fourth quarter was marred by awful shot selection, 27 free throws, and all around terrible basketball. Caron's tough drive rimmed in (wizards get some redemption for game 3 in 2006), LeBron's rimmed out ending this crapfest of a game. Cavs are 2-0 in road game 6 closeouts.

Posted by: UKCavs | May 1, 2008 1:49 AM

I watched that play again. Z didnt shove songilia

Posted by: hmmm | May 1, 2008 1:56 AM

Was ben wallace on the floor when caron scored or was he still out to avoid shooting FTs?

during the game, my buddy played "blow the whistle" followed by "ether" by nas - quite an appropriate combo for a wiz fan

Posted by: ATLwizFAN | May 1, 2008 1:59 AM

That sequence in the 1st quarter beginning with Songalia's "flagrant foul/technical" and then 3 offensive fouls on us, etc. was absolutely sickening. I am 29 and that is the most blatant favoritism I have ever seen in all my years of sports.

Tonight was a great win, Caron was NASTY, Mason hit some shots and Stevenson finally walked it.

But my favorite part, and the thing that gives me hope that we can win the next 2, is that we kept our composure and shut our mouths. After almost everyone of those horrible calls our players just put their head down and got right back to the game.

Too bad we could not have had this attitude and focus for the whole series.

Posted by: brian s | May 1, 2008 2:19 AM

First of all, the NBA only calls walking on shuffling feet, not steps. I watched Lebron's last drive and did not see walking, not even close. Also I did not see Songalia pushed.
Yes the reffing is terrible, and has been all year against the Wiz.
Nothing new, the respected teams and super duper stars, always get the calls, has been so since the Celtics early dynasty. Reputation means more than anything.
With that said, I am more concerned, that these games could save the Coach.
EJ is totally clueless, and obviously has no respect from the team, and that is well earned.
He is killing the confidence of DMAC, NY and AB.
He is pulling a Gary, and going with 7 players only. He has no clue. CB and AJ have been bailing EJ out for 2 years.
As for Gilby, bye bye and that max out.
He can stay with a reasonable salary, or hit the road. We need a real point guard, and a real trainer, to get this team physically ready for the long haul, esp if EJ is retained as expected by the owner, and continues to murder the stars with excessive minutes.

Posted by: mricklen | May 1, 2008 2:40 AM

Reading between the lines on Caron's comments about him and Jamison being the captains...I wonder if that was a subtle way of telling DeShawn and Haywood to shut up. He seems pretty upset about all the jawing back and forth. I bet we don't hear another solitary word from this group until the series is over. Tough Juice=LEADER!!! Just the kick this team needs, love it

Posted by: TMZ | May 1, 2008 3:14 AM

Of course, LeBron complained AGAIN about the no call at the end of the game though he ran up Songaila's back.
For any Cleveland fans on OUR blog, here's a little Shakespeare for ya:
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks". Ironically, that quote is from the Queen. See you in DC.

Posted by: mark | May 1, 2008 7:11 AM

Caron showed up and we win the game. No surprise there. Wish he had been this aggressive all along but I'll take it. Imagine what would happen if both our all stars played well in the same game. With the increased focus on CB for the next game, it should happen. As a few of us pointed out a few days ago, LeBron is not nearly the player Kobe is on defense. His defense on Caron is proof of that.
RobP. I agree with everything you said. I saw the same game you saw. Some of those calls were just plain puzzling. I was actually surprised when they didn't put LeBron on the line at the end.
It's obvious to me now that he's the guy we wwant takling the shot at the end of the game. I'd rather HE shoot than an open teammate. I agree with Gilbert's comments from a couple years ago that LeBron doesn't want to take that last shot. Unless he's driving and getting to the rim, I don't think he's consistently capable of making it.
I was also puzzled at Songaila's playing time. He doesn't seem to get any big rebounds or make any big plays. I love the forearm shiver, though. His attitude DOES bring something to the table. Please bring him in at PF, though. He's not a center. He had one rebound in 16 minutes. Even Nick Young had one is 3 minutes.

Posted by: mark | May 1, 2008 7:23 AM

Ivan is right on target about LeBron seemingly fouling Butler on that last shot. No call made, how lucky was it that the ball went in?

And I was in utter shock no foul was called on LeBron's shot. Not that it should have been, but that's an instance the refs would certainly bail out Cleveland.

Anyone else see Delonte West RAKE Songalia's arm on the possesion before Butler's shot? That would have been an automatic two shot foul had it been called.

Looks like the refs decided to swallow their whistles... wish the who series could be played like that.

Posted by: Wei | May 1, 2008 8:24 AM

Whew! Butler bailed us out big time. If Haywood and AJ play like shyt again on Friday, we are done, they were terrible.

Memo to Brenda: Grab that friken ball with two hands and finish strong! My five y/o can hold onto the ball better

AJ: The series was on the line, and you played like crap.

Posted by: Wizzy | May 1, 2008 8:27 AM

How's Songaila's back? After that bulldozing by James on the final play, he walked away hunched over a bit and holding his back. Wasn't a real good look, considering his past surgery.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 8:28 AM

Great win. Caron is da man! Funny how at 3-1 many were down on the entire franchise. Only takes one win to change the feeling. though usually optimistic even I began to fear on Tuesday that we would get blown out and that it would be the end of things for EJ. But once again he proved that he can get them to play together and win a tough game. Cavs lost opportunity to put us away and may regret it. The suits at ABC would be shaking in their boots. They are already salivating at a Celts-Cavs matchup. A game 7 on Sunday could be one for the ages.

The reality is that Caron is the kind of player and leader that you can build a team around and there are tough decisions ahead for EG. The big issue is not just should we let Gil go. The question is what do we get in return? E Brand? Love his game when he was healthy. He plays down low more than AJ but they are both 4's. Do we put Caron at the 2 and AJ at the 3? not sure that works defensively. Do we draft a point or a defensive minded rebounding monster? What does the vast improvement in BH's game mean? Can Gil fully rehab and really blend in to the team concept? Lot's of intriguing questions now that Gil has shut it down and we see that they play better right now without him.

But let's put all those questions on hold. Game 6 on Friday. The emotional roller coaster continues with this team. You gotta love their resilience when backed against the wall.

Posted by: BmoreRev | May 1, 2008 8:38 AM

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown sees a marked difference in the Arenas-less Wizards. He sees a team that no longer defers to their lead player.

"Their whole team seems to be more aggressive [without Arenas]," Brown said.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080501/SPORTS05/162196701/1005/SPORTS

Posted by: jjames | May 1, 2008 8:41 AM

They play better without a fully healthy Gilbert. Do they play better without a 100-percent healthy Gilbert? Not sure. Remember, this team was leading the Eastern Conference last year with a full complement of players. This year, they did a nice job of hanging around .500 without him. So sure, the Wizards are better without Gilbert when he isn't completely healthy. But are they better when he's at 100 percent? I'm not sure that's true.

Posted by: Colin | May 1, 2008 8:44 AM

I LOVE IT!!!

Hey Ivan, thanks for suggesting the Hack-a-Ben to Eddie! The points and possession we gained from sending him to the line was the difference in the game. Plus, I may be wrong, but I think that play was that last we saw of Ben, which helped us on the boards down the stretch!!!

Posted by: Darnell | May 1, 2008 8:51 AM

Caron speaks, but will Gil and D-Steve listen? Where's EJ on this matter? Maybe the team should set its own standards, with associated fines for not following them.

Gil didn't play much at all in the two wins. Therefore, there is a formula for success. However, the coaching staff (EJ doesn't seem capable, so maybe someone else) needs to get everybody's head into it, including Blatche's and Young's. There would be short-term and long-term payoffs from doing so.

Posted by: Izman | May 1, 2008 9:03 AM

Tough juice...Tough juice!!

I loved how Comcast showed the replay with Lebron doing usual "acting" to show how Songalia banged him in the throat. Too bad Lebron was actually hit in the chin instead.

Yes, I was also screaming at the tv why Blatche was not in the game as a defensive stopper instead of Songalia.

Posted by: Wizzz | May 1, 2008 9:15 AM

how many articles have I read in this paper about MD fans being boorish nimrods for chants at refs or Duke players that were not family friendly? anyone anywhere got anything to say about Cavs fans chanting _ _ _ hole audibly on national tv each and every time Stevenson touched the ball? I mean MD fans are drunk college students what are the rich people at Cavs playoff games excuse?

Posted by: Lee | May 1, 2008 9:24 AM

caron is a stud. hopefully he can match this performance on friday and antawn brings it as well.

this was the first game that haywood was outplayed by Z. he seemed to revert to some of his softer tendancies of the past ... bad hands, bringing the ball low, not going up strong, getting out worked for boards. that that can't happen friday. i do respect brendan for not complaining about a couple of the questionable calls down the stretch, especially after he had called out lebron for whining.

Go Wiz. Let's get game 6!

Posted by: pepcoenergy3 | May 1, 2008 9:25 AM

Here's what someone posted over on the Cavs forum at cleveland.com. He's talking about LeBron:

The guy played 44 minutes. How many fouls was he whistled for? None! That's right, LeBron never fouls! It's a miracle!

On the other hand, he had ***18*** FT attempts. 18!

No, the refs aren't favoring LeBron at all! In fact, they should have called three on the Wiz on the last drive (but, of course, not one on LeBron on Butler's game-winning drive).

Someone needs to investigate this! LeBron is being unfairly treated by the refs! Where's David Stern! Doesn't the league see how LeBron's getting screwed?!?

Posted by: Keithinator | May 1, 2008 9:33 AM

When Songaila comes in for Haywood, the four biggest guys on the court are all Cavs- LeBron and Sczerbiak are both heavier than Antawn or Darius. Their 2-guard is bigger than our center or power forward. And the Cavs are complaining about getting roughed up?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 9:35 AM

LeBron hardly ever gets called for fouls.

Watch him play defense on Caron. Caron is trying to get open and free, coming off screen, LeBron is bumping him big time and impeding his movement.

Any bump like that on LeBron is an automatic foul call.

It's why LeBron gets easier catches and better set up position, easier cuts to the basket, and easier drives to the basket, while Caron has to fight to just get breathing room.

Posted by: Wei | May 1, 2008 9:38 AM

HAS ANYONE IN THE HISTORY OF BASKETBALL EVER PLAYED 44 MINUTES AND NOT GOTTEN A FOUL CALLED?

Posted by: Wei | May 1, 2008 9:45 AM

It wasn't as much a shove by Z as it was him grabbing Darius's jersey and spinning him around. Clear on the replay where the camera was under the basket.

Posted by: Sam | May 1, 2008 9:49 AM

Great win for the team! Funny how Mike Brown, LBJ and the fans were waiting if the refs will bail them out again same as the game with Philly. BTH and AJ played poorly and they still win. That surely is a good sign coming to game 6. If I can ask EJ just one question, does he believe now in the hack-a-Ben? Seconds after Ben miss 2 FT MB yank him out.

Posted by: Dave | May 1, 2008 9:55 AM

Two good games by Caron in this series, two wins. It's pretty simple.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 10:01 AM

Ivan, you criticized coaches who employ the hack-a-whomever maneuver. Are you going to rip Eddie for doing it? Or is it an ingenious move now that your boy did it?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 10:06 AM

Caron was asked in his presser if EJ had told them to "hack a ben" - Caron said no, it was just an impulse decision by the players.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 10:07 AM

Haywood knows he played a bad game and said he was happy that Caron came through because he didn't want to go out like that. I like how they said in the locker room ALL of the guys were hollering Tough Juice! Tough Juice! as he comes running into the locker room they all congratulated him. What a team! I love my Wiz! They sometimes drive me batty but I love my guys!

Hope to see you all at the phone booth on Friday! WooHoooooooooooo!

Posted by: Lady Wizz | May 1, 2008 10:13 AM

You nailed it, Lady Wizz. Love the team's knucklehead stuff, but sometimes, it distracts from how they can seriously ball.

"I'm (Caron) the voice of this team and Antawn is the spiritual and emotional leader so unless you hear it from one of us, keep it moving."

How AWESOME is that?! Don't think I'm not gonna appropriate that and start dropping 'keep it moving' every chance I get.

Posted by: Eric | May 1, 2008 10:25 AM

I've been watching this team a long long time, and Caron Butler is now my alltime favorite Wizard/Bullet. Not saying he's the best player in franchise history... but he has now become my alltime favorite.

TOUGH JUICE!!!!

Posted by: Darnell | May 1, 2008 10:27 AM

My favorite Caron Butler quote from last night: "All my synapses were firing"

Posted by: rgz | May 1, 2008 10:38 AM

I took a look at the cleveland paper's blogs and readers comments just now and guess what I found? The readers have turned on the coach, the players (other than James), each other - somewhat similar to what the posters do on this forum when we lose one. Heck sometimes even when we win. No need for anyone Wiz fan to troll their board to leave anti-Cavs comments, they're doing it themselves.

Posted by: rgz | May 1, 2008 10:44 AM

Ivan, good pick-up on big Z (and the hack-a-ben strategy). It seems that Z and/or the Cavs have a set play at the end of the game (given that the refs are not watching Z when LBJ goes to the hoop) now that we've seen Z pushing someone into LBJ twice. To state the obvious, can the Wiz ask the official on the sideline to watch Z at the end of the game? The Wiz should get foul shots, not LBJ, if this happens again.

Posted by: Izman | May 1, 2008 10:44 AM

As for Eddie, the Wiz won this game despite his coaching.

His first call on the final possession was for Antawn, who given how awfully he had been playing last night wisely gave the ball up to Caron.

Caron lets it be known that the hack-a-ben strategy, which saved one point in the 4th, was not a coach's call but "player instinct".

How about that call on one of the Wiz's last possessions, sending 6'9" Darius Songaila down the baseline to take on his 7'3" countryman? As in Game 3, why isn't the ball going to Caron on every possession at that point?

And that smallball nearly lost the game on the second-to-last Cavs possession, when their big men had about four tips at the basket. Any one of those tips go in -- and Z is usually a deadly tipper -- and the Wiz go on vacation right then and there. Why is Blatche on the bench? Why not have more offensive and defensive rebounding in the game at the end? Or shot-blocking or second-chance tips?

Avery Johnson is available... There's one hard-nosed point guard there.

Posted by: Prazak | May 1, 2008 10:47 AM

Cavs fans should be ashamed they couldn't finish the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference at home when it was missing its best player and the refs were clearly biased towards LeSuperstar. For all the Cavs chest-pounding around here, they need to sober up and realize this is not a great team.

More importantly, the entire city of Cleveland should be ashamed of itself at its fans chanting as*hole. Nice example to set for all the kids at the game. I'll grant that Deshawn is a no-class idiot, and Brendan is a childish fool, and Gil an egomaniac. Those three have managed to taint the entire team with their poor sportmanship. But that's nothing compared to the completely tasteless spectacle of some 18,000 people chanting profanities at a game. It's one thing to be perennial losers, which we all accept from Cleveland, and another to be collective jackasses. Way to go, city of Cleveland.

Posted by: Prazak | May 1, 2008 10:49 AM

Prazak, I totally agree. Cleveland, as a collective whole, should be ashamed of themselves. Not only is chanting profanities completely unacceptable, what they were chanting was irrelevant.

I love Caron. I liked the idea of him when he first came here, and every experience with him has made me like him more. He, AJ, and AD are true class acts.

For what it's worth--I don't lump BTH with DeShawn and Gil in terms of knuckleheadedness. He's got a dry, spunky sense of humor, and I kind of like it. I love the way he's stepped up this year. You could see his frustration last night, and I hope he responds big time on Friday.

Posted by: Lou | May 1, 2008 11:04 AM

The basketball teams may be evenly matched, but as a city and metropolitan area, there is no comparison between Cleveland and Washington.

What the Cleveland fans chanted would never be heard at a Wizards game.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 11:12 AM

DC Man, your point on the last thread about how quick LeBron gets to the basket is well taken, but a lot of times it is dribble, stick a shoulder into the defender and stumble 4 steps to the basket and it is frustrating as hell when it is not called.

Posted by: George Templeton | May 1, 2008 11:13 AM

"Abe should seriously considering passing out study break tickets at UMd-College Park to Friday's game. They could seriously get rowdy and liven up the VC crowd.

Drawback would be that Chinatown would burn down if Les BouleS lose.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 30, 2008 10:16 PM

Can't believe I'm saying this but that comment was hilarious...LOL!

Posted by: Wizzz | May 1, 2008 9:28 AM"


I would love it, when the refs call a phantom foul against the Wiz, and in the spirit of the Terps fans, the VC fans should start chanting "Bulllsh#t, bulllsh#t, etc..."

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 1, 2008 11:16 AM

I also noticed a crowd shot during the game where one Cleveland fan in a yellow shirt was standing up and giving someone on the court or the camera the finger. Cleveland fans didn't do themselves any favors last night.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 11:19 AM

How in the world did EJ come up with this timetable? October? That's 6 months away for more rehab!!!

""I don't know if the personality of the team changes with Gil being out of the lineup," Jordan said. "I think we are a veteran team, have solid leadership and have adjusted to playing without Gil. It's a delicate situation. He's not the Gil we know. He won't be that Gil until next October.""

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080501/SPORTS05/162196701/1005/SPORTS

BTW, Tom Knott's use of "pimp smack" was not a stroke of reporter genius.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 1, 2008 11:20 AM

"DC Man, your point on the last thread about how quick LeBron gets to the basket is well taken, but a lot of times it is dribble, stick a shoulder into the defender and stumble 4 steps to the basket and it is frustrating as hell when it is not called.

Posted by: George Templeton | May 1, 2008 11:13 AM "

I totally agree. What I also see is that the defender is essentially frozen. No 6-9 dude with that kind of build can move like that without breaking some rules.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 1, 2008 11:23 AM

Anyone else Gaybron celebrating with his stupid dance after Delonte West got his and 1 with 1:45 seconds left? Gaybron def thought the game was over but when asked aobut it he said he was just happey about the play. It is so hilarious watching that baby eat his words.

Here's hoping he has to do it two more times!

Posted by: Wizfan08 | May 1, 2008 11:25 AM

"The basketball teams may be evenly matched, but as a city and metropolitan area, there is no comparison between Cleveland and Washington.

What the Cleveland fans chanted would never be heard at a Wizards game.

Posted by: | May 1, 2008 11:12 AM "

Not unless the VC fans are totally lubed up. I hope Stern gives us a later starting time. It's a Friday!!!

Fenty should close down 7th st....

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 1, 2008 11:26 AM

Posted by: John Brisker | May 1, 2008 11:36 AM

Like I have been saying all year CARON is the best player on the team! Gilbert can pack his bags b/c the only way he will be in a wizards jersey is if he doesn't opt out which would be horrible for this team. Even caron said as long as this team has jamison and himself they will win games...Don't need Gilly and the constant running of his mouth. He is a huge distraction and that is it. The Gilbert circus in washington is finally over!!!!

Posted by: Beas | May 1, 2008 11:40 AM

I dunno, DCMan, maybe I'm losing my edge as I age, but I don't think sporting events should be PG-13. I used to yell all kinds of profanities at the refs and opposing players, but when you're sitting there with your kid it's kind of sad when you hear other people doing it. And to hear an entire arena doing, like last night in No-Class Cleveland, it sets a really bad example. You'd like to think grownups don't act like schoolyard bullies whenever they get into groups of 18,000. But in Cleveland, you'd be wrong.

Posted by: Prazak | May 1, 2008 11:42 AM

May I remind you that Cavs lost game 5 at home to New Jersey last year and then went to New Jersey and won game 6. I sense a repeat of scenerio tomorrow night.

Posted by: lenny | May 1, 2008 11:53 AM

i love this - dc man and everyone else getting along, exchanging ideas in a reasonable way! good to see that when it comes down to it, we all support this team.
also marv albert and reggie miller can go to hell. their outrage at darius's "punch" had me screaming louder than any actual play.

Posted by: random dude | May 1, 2008 12:07 PM

Last night's game was a poorly played, sloppy game except for Caron Butler. He stepped up and acted like he actually wanted to win. He took control and therefore took the spotlight from punks like Stevenson who no one outside the Beltway even knew existed until he started running his mouth to the media. DeShawn is not the leader nor face of his team and it is was good to see Caron essentially say that DeShawn's antics and Gilbert's narcissistic musings on his blogs don't represent the whole team. He went and got it done on the court as it should be done. I think Deshawn actually enjoys his notoriety; it 's the most attention he's ever gotten and it's probably the only time anyone would ever mention him and LeBron in the same sentence. Caron was right, it was time to get back to the business of basketball. And he did. No one else did. Everyone else essentially sleepwalked through that game; it was embarrassing. And I'm a Cavs fan who now lives in DC.
And by the way, I don't think the entire city of Cleveland should be ashamed of the way some moronic fans acted last night. You'll always have idiots like that wherever you go.

Posted by: CavsGirl | May 1, 2008 12:25 PM

"And I'm a Cavs fan who now lives in DC.
And by the way, I don't think the entire city of Cleveland should be ashamed of the way some moronic fans acted last night. You'll always have idiots like that wherever you go.

Posted by: CavsGirl | May 1, 2008 12:25 PM "

Are you a cavs fan b/c of Lebron or were you always a cavs fan?

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 1, 2008 12:29 PM

And by the way, I don't think the entire city of Cleveland should be ashamed of the way some moronic fans acted last night. You'll always have idiots like that wherever you go.

Posted by: CavsGirl | May 1, 2008 12:25 PM

Wow, I don't think you actually watched the game. It wasn't just a few moronic fans chanting an inappropriate curse word ..... More like thousands....

Probably not all 18,000 - - - but it sounded like a majority of them!!!

And what's with the fan who threw something at a player on the court..!??! Just because he's sitting next to the owner, he gets to break the rules?

And the other Cleveland fan, waving his middle finger on National TV?

Cream of the crop you got there in Cleveland.

Posted by: Rook | May 1, 2008 12:31 PM

"I dunno, DCMan, maybe I'm losing my edge as I age, but I don't think sporting events should be PG-13. I used to yell all kinds of profanities at the refs and opposing players, but when you're sitting there with your kid it's kind of sad when you hear other people doing it. And to hear an entire arena doing, like last night in No-Class Cleveland, it sets a really bad example. You'd like to think grownups don't act like schoolyard bullies whenever they get into groups of 18,000. But in Cleveland, you'd be wrong.

Posted by: Prazak | May 1, 2008 11:42 AM "

Good point.

This Cleveland game though, may be a game where you'd want to leave the kiddies home. The Cavs should be scared to come here. They should worry about their safety. They should be running to the bus after the game.

They should be worried that if they invite their momma to the game, their momma might get a beer thrown at her or punched in the face (ref. Portis's momma at the Philly game).

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 1, 2008 12:34 PM

EJ likes to send a big man guarding his dog house. In last year's playoff, it was Haywood, now it is Blatche.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 12:45 PM

I hear you, DCMan, and yeah, tickets are on sale but we'll be watching from the safety of our couch. :-)

Posted by: Prazak | May 1, 2008 12:46 PM

I have been a Cleveland fan for 20 years..when I first moved to Cleveland as a kid. I grew up idolizing Mark Price and watched every year as Michael Jordan killed our playoff hopes. I am definitely not a fair weather fan; I watched when Ricky Davis was one of best reasons to watch the Cavs! Seriously.

As for the fans at the game, well, not all 18,000 fans were being moronic. And I admit Cleveland has their idiot fans; they exist here too. I was at Sunday's game here and I heard some of the stuff that was being said. I am not excusing the behavior of the Cleveland fans by any means; I am just saying that entire city of Cleveland is not like that and having idiot fans is not specific to Cleveland...And there are plenty of people in Cleveland who could truly care less about the game.

And I think the Wizards are a good team. I have a ton of respect for Caron Butler. And I actually know who all of the players are, unlike a lot of your fairweather fans at the game. Someon sitting next to me gave me the evil eye for cheering once (I was actually very subdued most of the game b/c I realized that I was not in Cleveland and was with friends who are Wizards fans) and then she proceeded to text on her phone all during the game, and then left when there were 54 seconds left, score tied at 97. At least I was there b/c I truly love basketball! And I can appreciate good players. I am not a sore loser.

Posted by: CavsGirl | May 1, 2008 12:59 PM

As someone who has posted a few times here when the Cavs won, I came to take my lumps now. We got beat by someone that wanted it more last night. And now we are in trouble. I only hope we repeat what we did in NJ last year.

I was at the game and I was disappointed with the chants. However, they did not last long, other fans were not happy with younger guys and their a-hole chants. DW was mostly booed whenever he touched the ball.

I am surprised at most of these posts being aimed at Lebron and the Cavs and/or fans and not more for supporting the Wiz. Butler was unstoppable last night and DS, even though I can't stand him, did not wilt under the hostility. I hope to win this Friday, I don't want a game 7.

Posted by: Dunbar | May 1, 2008 1:20 PM

C'mon man, Blatche gets in the game and immediately gets abused by big Z. Similarly, the wiz gave the ball to whomever Wally was guarding the minute he stepped foot in. any minutes he should get should come from giving AJ a breather (and that's only because the best scoring option the Cavs have at the 4 is Joe Smith), and nothing else. AB is not an option at backup center in this series. Next one, yes, but not in this one.

And prazak. First, EJ gave his two best players options for the final play. We can debate whether that's the right strategy, but big time players hit big time shots. That includes AJ, regardless of how he has performed to that point. I would've been a pinch less comfortable if AJ had decided to take that last shot, but not much. So I think if anything, we can rate that as a neutral call by EJ, definitely not a bad one.

And I seriously doubt, prazak, that EJ called Darius' number on that baseline drive. When the offense is run, the players have options, which develop from their movement and passing. Darius made a bad decision.

And not to say CB was lying, but I do think that at least, EJ must've planted the wack-a wallace seed. In other words, at halftime he must've said, "under these specific conditions, foul Ben." Now another plus of this strategy is that Cleveland loses a lot of its rebounding edge with Ben outta the game.

I sorta agree with you about the 2nd to last possession, but BTH had fouled out, and DSong has way more veteran savvy than AB. DSong struggles to get more than 6 inches off the ground, but surprisingly, AB isnot a big jumper either, without a running start. And he's not very quick off his feet either, and not nearly as strong as DSong. And DSong is more fundamental at boxing out. It really exposes how shallow we are in the middle. Another EJ call that, at worst, we can rate as neutral.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 1:21 PM

last post mine

Posted by: jones-y | May 1, 2008 1:23 PM

Haywood seems to bring a different kind of toughness to this team. He will not be intimidated. He's our big man..

Posted by: Costa | May 1, 2008 1:27 PM

DCFag is currently praising the team (s)he's denigrated all season, but with no Arenas to bash I'm guessing (s)he'll be really frustrated if the Wizards do manage to go further. Who's gonna offend your basketball sensitivities next, DCFag?

Posted by: DCFag Go Away | May 1, 2008 1:34 PM

On behalf of DC Man, who has shown his true colors in this post-season as a real wiz fan, and the rest of the membership here, who have enjoyed his presence here this postseason:

Fcuk off dcikhead.

Posted by: jones-y | May 1, 2008 1:37 PM

LOL. I guess folks are uniting now that our lightning rod for criticism (Gil) is out. Hey, I'm a Wiz fan so I have nothing bad to say to even the ppl who've insulted most of us here all year. It's all good in the playoffs.
We just need to get solid play from our all stars and we can beat anybody. Now that we've discovered that we have a legit C, we're good. Still not getting dSong's minutes. He's good at boxing out but it seems like he never gets the rebound. Either someone reaches over him or another man comes in and snags it. jones-y, I thought I was the only one that noticed AB's lack of explosiveness jmping straight up. He never snatches a rebound in traffic. He always tries to tip it to himself. I guess that's what happens when you're 6'11', 190. His other hand is down protecting his exposed ribcage.

Posted by: mark | May 1, 2008 1:44 PM

Yet another handle DCFag? So glad you're not one of those anonymous types.

Posted by: DCFag Go Away | May 1, 2008 1:44 PM

Caron stopped up bigtime and AD had his best game of the series (especially considering he didn't know he was going to start). If AJ can find his jumpshot and Brendan plays like he did in Games 1 -4, we can play a lot better than last night and have a good shot on Friday night. It was also good to see us get back to the normal playing rotation with GA out hurt.

I've been going to Wizards games for 30+ years and never heard the vulgar chants like last night in Cleveland (or towels thrown at an opposing player). It shows a complete lack of class by the Cleveland fans and is what you would expect from some drunk college kids at a UMD game.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 1, 2008 1:49 PM

who's worse, the troll or the troll agitator?

mark, you're definitely not the only one to notice AB's lack of jumping ability. I can't remember how many times he's taken the ball up weak and gotten it slapped away. I mean you're 6'11 and you're doing finger-rolls on a fast break???

He can, however, jump off of a drop-step, which makes him an excellent help-side shot blocker.

And you're also right in that he's not a good a rebounder either. He's got the tools, but at this point he lacks a lot of fundamentals.

Posted by: jones-y | May 1, 2008 1:52 PM

Good points, jones-y.

But I still think Caron should have been the one and only guy whose number was called for that last play, and I'm glad Antawn had the sense to know that, even if his coach didn't. Eddie made the same mistake in Game 4 by not putting the ball in Caron's hands and sending him right at LeBron with his foul trouble.

And Blatche is at least as good at boxing out as Antawn. If you noticed, Joe Smith's rebound of a missed free throw toward the end of the game was him getting around AJ, not Songaila. Thank goodness the resulting 3-point jumper rimmed out, or the season is over. And it wasn't the first time Smith had gotten around him, either.

I agree with you that the options in the middle are all flawed, and I agree that Blatche doesn't match up well with Z. But he does match up better against Z than Songaila when Z steps outside for jumpers, which is where he does much of his damage, and we all saw how many offensive rebounds and tip-ins Z and the other Cavs big men had in Game 4 with that Wiz smallball lineup. Like I said, if any one of those three tip attempts in the Cavs second-to-last possession had gone in, as they normally do, the Wiz would be done right now and we'd all be screaming about smallball. And rightly so.

And that's what bothers me about Eddie: he doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes. It took Ernie putting a defensive specialist next to him on the bench before this team would get serious on the defensive end. It took Gil taking himself out of the game before Ernie stopped throwing him into crunch times. I'm sure we'll see more smallball in Game 5, and when we do let's hope those Cavs tip-ins keep rattling out.

Posted by: Prazak | May 1, 2008 1:53 PM

"On behalf of DC Man, who has shown his true colors in this post-season as a real wiz fan, and the rest of the membership here, who have enjoyed his presence here this postseason:

Fcuk off dcikhead.

Posted by: jones-y | May 1, 2008 1:37 PM "

I think the person who's attacking me unprovoked is not a serious Wiz fan and also can't stand to see the fact that the team is doing well without Gilby's services.

They just have to deal with it, and wouldn't it be great if the "Wiz" can beat the Cavs game 6 and 7, also without Gilby.

I hope Gilby gets well, but in the meantime, there are more pressing concerns, like game 6.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 1, 2008 1:55 PM

Wow huge wiz fan but you guys sound like a bunch of babies complaining about the cavs fans. We WON the game who cares

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 1:58 PM

One other point:

""And not to say CB was lying, but I do think that at least, EJ must've planted the wack-a wallace seed. In other words, at halftime he must've said, "under these specific conditions, foul Ben." Now another plus of this strategy is that Cleveland loses a lot of its rebounding edge with Ben outta the game.""

jones-y, we've got Caron's word on it versus your hypothesizing.

But you're right that Eddie probably didn't call Darius's number on that drive, he unwisely took an option that he shouldn't have. I'm just in a replace-Eddie lather right now and got carried away on that one.

Posted by: Prazak | May 1, 2008 1:59 PM

DCFag clearly must have gotten religion. I'll be back when he starts slurping again. Doubt I'll sprout any gray hairs waiting.

Posted by: DCFag Go Away | May 1, 2008 2:01 PM

Good, you're going away.

Posted by: jones-y | May 1, 2008 2:29 PM

prazak, if you listened to the announcers on the TNT broadcast, one of them mentioned that he asked EJ a battery of questions about the hack-a-ben strategy. He said that EJ basically backtracked and stated that under specific circumstances he would go to it. I am doing a tiny bit of speculating, but that message had to have been relayed to his team.

I have no doubt in my mind that EJ at least gave the team the option to do it. Did he call for it at that specific point in the game? no, if so Caron wouldn't've answered the question the way he did. Did EJ totally rule the strategy out? No. If so, the team wouldn't've done it.

It may be that EJ didn't talk about it at all, and that the team decided to do it on their own, but that seems out of character for the team captains CB and AJ to allow the team to totally go against the coaches' directive.

Posted by: jones-y | May 1, 2008 2:36 PM

I still believe that AB natural position is SF or a possible 4. No way can he be C and battle the likes of Z and Big Ben. I just hope that he spends his offseason in the gym to bulk himself up. He reminds me of Roy Tarpley of Dallas in the 80's. Long and athletic.

Posted by: Dave | May 1, 2008 2:38 PM

Small ball was driving me nuts last night. Songalia is supposed to be a savvy, fundamental player but I have yet to see him BOX OUT. Thats how you get an over the back call, box, take the guys legs out a little so all he can do is collapse on your back. Otherwise he's just going to keep tipping the ball to himself until it goes in.

Blatche might not be able to handle Z but I like the lineup of he and Haywood playing together in spots. Hope we see that in Game 6. He is a much better passer than BH, probably a better receiver too. BH struggled with some tough passes last night. Blatche playing off of Z gives him more chances at weakside blocks too.

Nick Young has earned some more time. He makes things happen and draws the defense freeing up Roger and others in the second unit. We're going to need his bump. I don't know how you leave the kid who poster-ized Lebron on the bench all game.

I thought the excessive fouls on the Wiz following the technicals were classic referee overreactions. They just forgot that those calls are supposed to even out. Then again that drive by Deshawn was dumb.

Some guys clam up in big spots, other guys go the other way, making aggressive mistakes instead of passive ones. Thats Deshawn. He makes fast, aggressive dumb plays when he loses his composure. But I'll take 17 points from him every night.

Posted by: Monte | May 1, 2008 2:44 PM

Dave,
Roy Tarpley and AB also share a crack addiction. In Roys case it was crack cocaine. AB had a problem with the other crack this past year.
Sorry. I couldn't resist.

Posted by: mark | May 1, 2008 2:48 PM

I actually think that AB has more SF skills than PF or C. We need to start grooming him to play a forward spot rather than C. He'll never be big enough to man the C position. He should be getting every minute that CB and AJ are not on the floor.

Posted by: mark | May 1, 2008 2:50 PM

mark,

he would be if ET was in uniform this year

Posted by: jones-y | May 1, 2008 2:55 PM

Don't get me started on Blatche and the weight room. Harvey Grant got fired for a reason. Someone has to impress upon the kid that "working out" does not mean sets of 10 jump shots from around the court or one on one with Pesh.

He needs to find the will to PREPARE to win. That starts in the weight room for AB.

Posted by: Monte | May 1, 2008 3:04 PM

jones-y, I missed the TNT bit, and who knows what was said in the huddle, but it seems from Caron's comment that the players decided to hack Ben right at the moment it made the most strategic sense, whatever Eddie may have said about it pre-game or at half. Good for the players, but an alert coach would have been jumping up and down directing them in that situation, not leaving it up to their own wits.

I don't think any of us doubts that Blatche should be at the 4 instead of the 5. The Wiz need a proper backup center to Brendan. Maybe it's Etan, maybe not. But the question right now is whether Darius or Blatche makes the better backup at the 5, and I think the end of the 3rd Quarter in Game 4 and the end of the game last night should make it clear that D-Song and AJ can't handle the boards against Z, Verejao, Big Ben, and Smith. It seems pretty obvious that the Wiz need more height against that Cleveland front line. Going smallball makes no sense against the Cavs lineups. When Brendan's out, Blatche should be in whenever possible.

Posted by: Prazak | May 1, 2008 3:04 PM

What is with Andray Blatche? He is now a 3 year vet in the NBA but he seems lost and he plays soft to be darn near 7 foot. Does he not understand that he can have a real impact on this team instead of just being a reserve. I hope he puts in a lot of work this summer so that if we don't resign Jamison that he will be able to carry the load. Untapped potential is just so frustrating...

Posted by: RDOT | May 1, 2008 3:16 PM

The DC Maadam couldnt stand DC anymore, did someone tell her that the Wiz won last night? Talk about class.......Hey, did the "statutory rapist" stir up any more words for James?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 3:32 PM

Prazak,

Are you a coach?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 3:34 PM

RDOT,

Blatche hardly played in his first year, and got time in only a few games in his second year because of injuries.

Big men take many years of PLAYING to develop their skills. There is an analysis on 82games.com if you are interested.

There is a burden on the player AND the coaching staff to develop young players, although EJ obviously disagrees with that.

By development, I include soft issues such as gaining player confidence and good communications. We don't do this. But almost all of the other teams in the NBA would love to share their development program with Blatche. I do agree though that he needs to add 10-15 pounds in the off-season from work in the weight room.

Posted by: Izman | May 1, 2008 3:35 PM

You know Caron wasn't gonna get that foul in the end. Hopefully we'll get the same freedom at home.

I gotta repeat the comments to Wilbons article.

Glad to see the team focused on winning instead of talking. As MJ taught many an opponent, you don't tug on Supermans cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off the ole Lone Ranger and you don't mess around with....

Just like the Spurs, you know when you see the strong determination on players faces, and how different that is from the posturing and trash talking. It takes focus to win, and Caron & Antwawn proved that last night.

As for Gil, I love him and want him to stay at 10~12 mil/yr over 6 years and not a bank breaking 15mil/year. Also hope to keep Twawn for $10mil/yr for 3 years.

I'm already looking for bigs or Skill in the Draft. Chris Douglas Roberts or Joey Dorsey from Memphis, Stephen Curry from Davidson (another Gil:), Robin Lopez from Stanford (Great Upside as a shot blocker), Joe Alexander West VA, and 2nd round Bombalay Osby from MD. ( & keep an eye out for UConns Monster Hasheem Thabeet) You can dream all you want about Kevin Love, Rose, Mayo, Brook Lopez, and Hibbert but they will be long gone.

Lets come out with the Eye of the Tiger Friday. It's no cliche when you Win.

Posted by: Derek | May 1, 2008 3:37 PM

Yeah, I think we are going to have Chris Hansen from NBC's to catch a predator guard DeShawna Stevenson on friday...he wont get away then.....Blow the Whistle

Posted by: Blow the whistle | May 1, 2008 3:37 PM

Mark - What Roy Tarpley and Andre share in common is Potential (w/ a capital P). RT could have been a regular all-star...but that is another story.

Big year for AB next season as all eyes will be on him if he can improve his play. BTH took 7 years for his game to shine. No need to push the panic button on AB.

Posted by: Dave, | May 1, 2008 3:46 PM

People, please spare me the Blatche talk. Songalia plays better position D than Blatche, who lets his man back him all the way under the basket and get easy buckets. Blatche had a good game 4 in the first half but when the chips are on the table I want experience in the game.

And people need to stop saying Eddie is messing up the confidence of Young and McGuire. There aren't too many rookies trusted enough to play major minutes in the playoffs. I think we all know those two need to mature and shouldn't be thrown into this fire.

Posted by: bryan | May 1, 2008 3:47 PM

It must be hard for Cavs fans to sit on that high horse while talking about Deshawn as a rapist or predator. Y'all must have incredible balance. I'm sure Lebron didn't have sex with any underage girls in high school, riiiiight.

Derek, check who's in and out of the draft. No Curry, no Thabeet and NO ONE is drafting Osby.

Posted by: Monte | May 1, 2008 3:53 PM

I'm not worried about Dominic. Nick Young proved what he could do when given the chance this season. Eddie decided he wasn't ready for the playoffs and that will kill a kid's confidence as much as anything. Luckily Nick knows he can score on anyone.

Coach NYlike the player he will become and he will become that player. Coach him like the player he is now and he will never be anything more.

Posted by: Monte | May 1, 2008 4:03 PM

I too prefer experience over potential in the 4th quarter but I would like to see some BTH and AB and see if they can match up well with Z/Big Ben/Joe Smith/Andy combo.

Posted by: Dave | May 1, 2008 4:13 PM

Touche Wiz fans. That was a tough loss. We'll get ya Friday, don't worry.

Posted by: Cavs fan | May 1, 2008 4:27 PM

Damn and I thought we'd at least get a two day break from the cavs fans...

Blow this whistle lol.

Posted by: jones-y | May 1, 2008 4:45 PM

Monti, you're right, but I'd give Osby a chance, even if it's only an invite to camp.

I'll still be happy to get any two of:
Robin Lopez (Stan)
Joe Alexander (WVA)
JaVale McGee (Nevada)
Chris Douglas Roberts (Mem)
Joey Dorsey (Mem)


Posted by: Derek | May 1, 2008 5:10 PM

You can dream all you want about Kevin Love, Rose, Mayo, Brook Lopez, and Hibbert but they will be long gone.

Posted by: Derek | May 1, 2008 3:37 PM

I think Hibbert will still be on the board when the Wizards draft at # 18 in the 1st round.

Draft.net shows him going at #23
Draftexpress has him at #17
Mynbadraft shows him at #19
ESPN Draft Indes has him at #23

Collison would have been my choice for the Wizards in the 1st round, but since he is returning to UCLA, I would be happy with either Hibbert or Robin Lopez.

Then we have to hope that EG can find a PG somewhere...

Posted by: Rook | May 1, 2008 8:17 PM

Hey, did you guys check out that outfit I wore to the postgame press conference on wednesday? The epaulets and the belt on the jacket were pretty snazzy, weren't they? That bellhop at the hotel was sure nice to lend it to me!

Posted by: LeBron James | May 2, 2008 12:00 AM

Rook
Excellent research & analysis. I wonder if Lopez has more upside than Roy who seems to be more naturally athletic. Either way, if both are still on the board we are on a roll.

Round two choice could be just as intriguing (Dorsey or another Tough juice like Brandon Rush). Equally important is signing Roger Mason for the $5 mil/year he deserves, that is if he'll take a 5/6 year $25/$30 mil contract.

Otherwise, sign and trade to wheel and deal for Stephen Curry in next years draft, or somebody from this years amazing kansas and Ucla teams.

Posted by: Derek | May 2, 2008 12:10 AM

Well said, Bryan. Spot on on all points. Glad somebody gets it.

And contrary to popular fan belief, developing a player doesn't mean just giving him more PT and leaving him on the floor even when he makes mistakes that could cost the team games. nor is player development solely the responsibility of the coach. It doesn't matter what a coach does, a player won't develop unless he is first willing to step up and put in the work. That means practice, before games, after games, the offseason. It means going to the coaching staff and asking them what needs to be worked on. It means working on his body and his game even when he'd rather be doing something else. Blatche has not shown that commitment (or, if he has, it's not paying off).

Andrew Bynum didn't develop from a gangly kid wto a guy who was being called the Lakers' future because Phil Jackson just threw him out there. It happened because he worked his ass off to get better. It wasn't until those improvements became obvious to the coaches through his work in practice and his focus in the limit minutes h was originally getting that Jackson showed more trust and gave him more time. If Blatche wants to earn more minutes, he needs to show more consistent effort and results in the minutes he's already getting.

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 12:10 AM

I meant Lopez is more athletic, but Hibbert is more like Brendon and in 10 years time their careers may be equal if they stay healthy.

Posted by: Derek | May 2, 2008 12:13 AM

Derek,

The Wizards can't do a sign and trade deal with Mason because they don't have his Bird rights. (Technically they can sign him and then trade him, but they'd have to wait several months before doing so; but they can't do a prearranged S&T deal. And if he doesn't think he's in the team's long-term plans, there's no reason for him to re-sign.) Also, he'll be an unrestricted FA, so the Wiz won't have any leverage; even if they match whatever offers he gets he won't be obligated to stay. But the obstacle to re-signing Mason will likely be more about PT and role than money. Even if the Wiz match another offer, and even if Mason likes it here, will he pass up a possible chance to be a starter (perhaps on a contender like the Spurs, who went after him last summer) to remain a 20 mpg backup on a middling playoff team? It seems unlikely.

Posted by: kalorama | May 2, 2008 12:20 AM

Osby is better off trying out for an NFL team...maybe as a lineman.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 2, 2008 12:36 PM

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