Gilbert out as precaution

Gilbert Arenas will not play tonight against the Bulls. According to Associate Head Coach Mike O'Koren, who spoke with reporters because Eddie Jordan is sick (Jordan is here and is expected to be on the bench but he doesn't look good. In fact, he looks miserable), the move to sit Arenas is precautionary.

Arenas played 19 minutes in his return game against Milwaukee Wednesday night and played 20 last night in the win over Miami. Because it's a back-to-back, the thinking is that Arenas would be better off resting tonight. The team is off tomorrow and doesn't play again until Wednesday night against Boston. From where I sit, it's a wise move. They've already clinched a playoff spot and Arenas re-injured the knee in November by playing too many minutes. A pair of early season back-to-backs didn't help.

O'Koren said that Arenas will practice Monday.

"The training staff looked at him and they're going to be real, real delicate with Gilbert," O'Koren said. "He's coming back from injury and he looked fine: he's obviously in great shape, great condition for being out that long and it's purely precautionary. He'll be back at practice Monday and Tuesday and be ready to go for Boston on Wednesday."

Arenas continued his recent trend of not speaking with reporters. It's a superstition thing. He didn't speak before Wednesday's game and played pretty well so now, he doesn't want to mess it up. Strange? Yes. But all together now: that's Gilbert.

Antawn Jamison will miss his second straight game with a sprained right shoulder. No surprise there. He is still hoping to be back by Wednesday. Former Bull Darius Songaila starts for Jamison again and with Arenas out, look for Nick Young and Roger Mason Jr. to see solid minutes at guard. Oh, and DeShawn Stevenson, who played on a badly sprained ankle last night, said the ankle is feeling much better. He said he'll go without the ankle brance he wore last night and just play with the usual tape job. I a little amazed because I got a close look at the ankle last night before the game and it was swollen up pretty good but Stevenson is one tough cat.

By Ivan Carter |  April 5, 2008; 7:42 PM ET
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Comments

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Definitely a smart move to keep Gilbert outta this one. I was thinking the same thing last night, so I am glad he can stay out and stay fresh. I know Chicago isnt good, and Gooden isnt playing, but I will be impressed if the Wiz can pull it out. Caron needs to step up big time without Jamison and Arenas. As long as the Wiz get the 5 or 6 seed everything will be fine. 7 would be a nightmare by having to face Detroit, but if this team can heal up a tad bit, Orlando or Cleveland might be looking at a 1st round upset.

Posted by: Roman | April 5, 2008 8:27 PM

It's a smart move, but there is playoff positioning to think about. They can't fall to seventh, and quite frankly, they have a chance to claim fourth. It sounds like they'll concede fourth and hope they don't slip to seventh. Not sure I agree with that, but I guess it would be worse in the playoffs without Gilbert. But home-court would be nice because I'm sick of seeing this team lose to LeTravel and the Cavs.

Posted by: Colin | April 5, 2008 8:48 PM

Smart move to rest Gilbert on the second of back to back games. They've got a much tougher opponent on Wednesday and hopefully will have AJ back by then. With a playoff spot clinched, it's more important to get players healthy than risk an injury against a mediocre team. Don't be surprised if GA sits out next Friday's game against Detroit so he's available for the key game against Philly on Saturday.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 5, 2008 9:43 PM

WTF?

Terrible decision. Let the dude play. He can rest tomorrow, especially since AJ is out.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 5, 2008 9:52 PM

Finally someone's thinking no GA is a wise decision let AJ and Gil get well so we can have them against the Celtics hopefully, and for the remaining games to develop cohesion and why is EJ on a plane(not good for a severe sinus infection)He needs to be home under a doctors care,they trail at the half by one to the Bulls,too many turnovers and they don't look sharp,maybe they will pull this one out.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | April 5, 2008 9:53 PM

That's why the logic is warped. If Les BouleS are concerned about playoff positioning, and Gilby plays tonight, then they'd have a better chance at beating the Bulls compared to beating the Celtics, who are much better team.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 5, 2008 10:02 PM

Still no news on how Gilby's knee has been responding. Gilby has not been talking to the press, so he can't answer that question. I don't surf his blog, so I don't know if he posted anything. Les BouleS doctors are off limits, and I doubt any of the coaches will answer anything. Very suspicious.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 5, 2008 10:18 PM

Looking at the other games, this win will be very important in getting a good spot in the playoffs. I think we will be 1.5 GB of Cleveland.

Posted by: B.A.M. | April 5, 2008 10:26 PM

Fine win, fine decision to sit GA with AJ.

Let Brendan be Brendan! Career Night.

All alone in fifth, the Philly game will be large if the Cavs are our target.

Posted by: khrabb | April 5, 2008 11:51 PM

The Wiz need to play Cleveland so they can gauge where they are and what they really need in the offseason. They may not beat them but they will make statement by pusing it to probably 6 or 7 games. I think GA came back a just a couple of weeks too late to be fully integrated into the team in time to make a big splash in the playoffs, unfortunately.
Ernie, this offseason see if the Bulls will do a sign and trade with LDeng for AB and ET and that second 1st round pick.

Posted by: oddjob | April 6, 2008 12:26 AM

I can save Grunfeld the cost of a phone call: no way the Bulls make that deal.

Posted by: kalorama | April 6, 2008 12:37 AM

That trade makes almost as much sense as Chicago Tribune columnist Sam Smith's proposed GA max deal sign-and-trade for half the Bulls roster. Deng turned down a $50 million extension from the Bulls last summer, so you can imagine how much he'd want from Washington--way too much for a 17 ppg scorer. And where are you going to play him? We've got all stars already at the 3 and 4 (presuming that Ernie re-signs Jamison, which he will). Trading Blatche would be incredibly stupid--you're never going to find another 6'11" guy with his handle and passing ability for $3 million a year, which is what Juan Dixon makes. And frankly, nobody in the league is going to want what's left of Etan's contact, no matter how much of a cool guy he is.

Posted by: John Brisker | April 6, 2008 1:13 AM

Full Court Press

David Dupree: What Gilby did is unforgivable, to his teammates and his coach. EG needs to call Gilby in and tell him he can't do stuff like that.

Korn: Gilby makes himself larger than everything.

Wilbon: Caron, AJ, and AD need to pull Gilby aside and talk to him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 6, 2008 2:58 AM

Full Court Press

David Dupree: What Gilby did is unforgivable, to his teammates and his coach. EG needs to call Gilby in and tell him he can't do stuff like that.

Korn: Gilby makes himself larger than everything.

Wilbon: Caron, AJ, and AD need to pull Gilby aside and talk to him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 6, 2008 2:58 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:44 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 3:45 AM

Frankie, take your meds :-)

Posted by: khrabb | April 6, 2008 7:04 AM

I know it migh be a long shot, but the Bulls seem to be in disaray, firing Skiles was the kind of mistake that is made made by a desperate team...maybe Ernie the magician can pull off another one.

Posted by: oddjob | April 6, 2008 7:36 AM

and he did

Posted by: Anonymous | April 6, 2008 8:17 AM

Last night, the Wiz showed that they can win on the road without GA and AJ. But, before that, they also showed how they can lose at home against Mil with the Big 3.

What's a coach to do? Rest CB and AJ for Boston and Detroit, and use the last three games for building mo with a relatively healthy team? Or go hard and try to get the fourth seed (but risk further setbacks to CB and AJ)?

These sorts of "strategic" decisions are more important than x's and o's. We know where EJ comes out. But we will end up with a bad seed and more injuries to boot?
What would that west coast scout do?

Posted by: Izman | April 6, 2008 9:51 AM

Another solid win. Last few days much adu about nothing. Regardless of what people on the outside say, if Gil isn't a problem in the lockerroom he isn't a problem for the team.

Thousands of words have been written and every talking head in a town full of talking heads has weighed in.

But the team plays on and doesn't skip a beat. Eight assists in about 20 minutes of play and improved play within the defensive scheme. Nice second game back.

Solid workmanlike effort last nigh by the guys in Chicago. Personally I wouldn't mind seeing Cleveland in the first round. It will be an exciting series, you can bet on that.

Posted by: GM | April 6, 2008 10:25 AM

Yeah - I'd like to see a Wizards / Cavs match up in the first round as well.

Maybe it will come down to some LeBron free throws??!?!?! - and a certain someone could make back what he lost.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 6, 2008 11:23 AM

Good game - good for Brendan last night. Resting Jamison and Gil made sense. That game against Phili next saturday will be big. Like to see more of Nick and Gil, fast break. Cavs in first round will be exciting.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 6, 2008 11:40 AM

4th seed looks like it's a long shot. Wiz have games against Boston, Detroit, Philly, Indiana and Orlando.

The Boston game is the second of a back-to-back. Maybe Doc will rest his big three again???

Detroit doesn't have much to play for. Their playoff seed is locked up.

Same for Orlando.

That Philly game, though.... that's gonna be a real tough game. The Wizards don't match up well with them. I expect a high scoring game - up and down the court. Lots of fast breaks. Hopefully, Gilbert Arenas and Caron will be at their best.

Posted by: Rook | April 6, 2008 11:48 AM

"firing Skiles was the kind of mistake that is made made by a desperate team"

How was firing Skiles a "mistake"? The team had tuned him out and underperformed all season.

Posted by: kalorama | April 6, 2008 12:44 PM

Any NBA coach that was stupid enough to get in a pissing match with his newly acquired NBA all defensive team Center over head and wristbands should be fired.

Skiles managed to completly splinter that lockerroom. But Paxson had a role in that too.By dangling some of their core players in an attempt get Gasol and then Kobe, and letting names leak out so guys see could their names in daily trade rumors for over half a year didn't help.

Their guys shouldn't have ended up so thin skinned, but Skiles nitpicking and then seeing their names in daily trade rumors really messed with that groups' heads.

Posted by: GM | April 6, 2008 1:37 PM

It must be nice to have invisible man ability for GM to be able to know that Gilby isn't a ditistraction in the locker room, especially since Gilby's been avoiding the media, EJ's been avoiding the media also with his sinus infection, and other coaches/players have stuck to the company line of "Gilby being Gilby."

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 6, 2008 1:42 PM

The principles that Skiles stood by, he should be applauded for, especially since he wasn't a proven coach like Phil Jackson who can make the players follow his lead. Skiles has proven that he can coach, whether or not the team wants to win.

Of course, some would have preferred that Skiles be more like EJ who's borderline spineless when it comes to dealing with prima donna players on this team that haven't won anything, but think that they are above the team. Catering to these prima donnas can easily blow out of control and be a disruptive force both in the locker room and on the court.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 6, 2008 1:47 PM

"I want to see the line up of gill,nick young I am excited already and caron, haywood, and antwaun and fast breaking baby, dunking,flying just runing WOW,WOW I LOVE IT

Posted by: frankie jude | April 6, 2008 03:44 AM "

Yeah, this approach has proven to be a winning formula in the playoffs. Defense is so so overrated when it comes to winning a championship. Sike.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 6, 2008 1:49 PM

You have to admire 88's amazing durability over an 82-game season. If I play, he trashes me. If I don't play, he still trashes me. The man is a model of consistency--he's the veritable Deshawn Stevenson of pathological haters!!!

p.s. I just wish 88 would throw a retro birthday party for himself, too, so I could wear my LL Cool J outfit again. I was stylin, especially with that brick-sized cell phone. btw, that's the one I use to dictate my blog.

Posted by: Gilby | April 6, 2008 3:30 PM

Invisible man ability, that I applaud. However, I don't want to give GM that much credit. If there are locker room issues, it would be leaked to the local writers, and/or it would be very visible. Ivan's stated on many occasions that the locker room gets along well, with the only noticeable rift being between the two centers the last couple of years. The guys kid around with one another. At the same time, guys like AJ and CB will pull guys aside and tell them to step in line, which was also reported by Ivan.

My point is, any grudges within the locker room (which was the argument GM was making with his invisible man ability) would be noticed by the media. I am not merely excusing any behavior as a player being a player. What I do feel is that the team is tired of not advancing in the playoffs, whether they have key injuries or not. I see a team that wants to advance in the playoffs and challenge for a title. And yes, I know they play in the pathetic Eastern Conference and the irrelevant claims that they would not even be in playoff contention if they were in the Western Conference.

Good thing it's the Washington (city in the District of Columbia) Wizards as opposed to the Washington (State) Wizards, sure lucked out on that. Another note, if this team were in the western conference, wouldn't anyone think that would change everything? Not only about this team, but about the league? My point exactly, maybe, maybe not, it's purely hypothetical...

Posted by: CN | April 6, 2008 3:59 PM

It is clear at this point that it was the players that splintered the Bulls season. The GM tried to fix it by first firing the coach, saw that was not the problem (oops too late) and then tried to get rid of the players who were the problem. Again too late. So maybe the GM is mostly to blame, but before this year Skiles proved his ability and I am sure will land somewhere and do it again. All I hope is that he does not end up in the same Division the Wiz reside, as prior to this year, his teams always gave the Wiz all they could handle and then some. So my reasoning, once again is if the Bulls' GM is feeling some pressure, perhaps Ernie could exploit the situation and make a nice trade in the Wiz favor, e.g. Kwame for CBut.

Posted by: oddjob | April 6, 2008 4:47 PM

oddjob, no one is questioning Skiles' ability to coach. He proved that a while ago. What he also proved a while ago is that his hard-driving, in your face style can wear on players after a time. There were rumors and rumblings about the players having had their fill of him going back more than two years. But a lot of that tension was diffused by them overcoming poor starts and getting into the playoffs. That didn't happen this season and things finally came to a head.

Did the players carry some blame for what happened in Chigaco? Of course. They always do. But Skiles was hardly blameless. Coaches never are. Part of the coaches job is to keep the team together and keep the locker room from splintering. Skiles not only failed to do that, his squabbling and power struggles with the players (Wallace in particular) contributed to it. It's very unlikely that Paxson thought firing Skiles would be the cure-all to the Bulls' problems. It was just the first cut in what will probably end up being some major offseason surgery.

As for the trade ... not going to happen. The Kwame for Caron trade happened because (A) Butler hadn't yet fulfilled his promise, so the Lakers didn't fully know what they were giving up. Clearly that's not the case with Deng, who has been the Bulls' best player for a couple of years, and (B) the Lakers thought Kwame filled a specific need for them, a big C to fill in for the injured Chris Mihm. That's not the case with Blatche.

Posted by: kalorama | April 6, 2008 5:24 PM

The funniest thing about whether players get along in the locker room is that the truth doesn't usually come out until the player is traded away or leaves. Who knew that Shaq had such a beef with Ricky Davis or Chris Quinn. Or, that Zo had such a beef with LJ. Or, that Shaq had such a been with Nick Anderson. LOL!

I'm sure Les BouleS players get a good laugh out of Gilby and his clownish ways. Who doesn't like clowns? We love GM on this blog. But, that "Gilby being Gilby" is basically an answer to the press that they don't want to give an answer.

Gilby being Gilby = whatever; no comment

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 6, 2008 7:08 PM

I think Skiles had his players outperformed their capabilities. In this regard, he was great; but eventually he tired the players out. Ridding Chandler to get Big Ben is a bad move. Not only because Big Ben is on the down swing and have bad salary implication, but also because he feels he is established, and is less likely to agree to Skiles' coaching style. Of course, Deng and Gordon's situation weren't handled right either. So yeah, I think GM should shoulder the most blame.

Posted by: Sagaliba | April 7, 2008 11:58 AM

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