This is some good hate!

Wow! Now this is some good old-fashioned playoff hatred. These teams hate one another. The way it should be. So far, we've seen Andray Blatche inadvertently clock LeBron James across the face (no call) and James roll around on the ground like a soccer player, James respond by semi-intentionally elbowing Blatche in the head, Gilbert Arenas drain four three-pointers, including one from Akron and a near fight at mid-court between Brendan Haywood and James.

Technicals were assessed to Antawn Jamison and James and I swore for a second that Caron Butler and Zydrunas Ilgauskas were about to throw down. It's 46-46 at halftime and impossible to tell where this is going but man, I'm looking forward to this series.

In terms of strategy, the Wizards have not gotten enough out of two matchups: Jamison is getting any shot he wants against Ben Wallace because Wallace can't guard him but he's missed four open three-pointers and Butler has not taken advantage of the fact that slow Wally Szczerbiak has been on him and he hasn't taken him off the dribble.

Butler is one-of-four with four points and needs to do more. He's taken it to the cup twice and both times something good happened, Jamison followed a Butler miss with a tip-in and Butler found Jamison for a layup.



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By Ivan Carter |  April 19, 2008; 1:41 PM ET
Previous: Game 1 | Next: Cavs do it again

Comments

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I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Posted by: Darnell | April 19, 2008 1:53 PM

WOW!!! WHAT A GREAT 1ST HALF TO THIS SERIES!!!!

Posted by: Darnell | April 19, 2008 1:54 PM

Yeah Ivan,

When I saw Wally on Caron my eyes lit up. Gotta take advantage of that. Still our game for the takin...

Gil only played 9 minutes. He's rested while James has to battle for all his points. A double double for AJ already. Let's do it!

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 19, 2008 1:59 PM

Just got home from a soccer game to see Caron make that steal. Like what I'm seeing from that, hopefully we can keep it up :P

Posted by: B.A.M. | April 19, 2008 2:09 PM

I retract any and all previous comments about Gil's value to this team. The Zards have been a different team when Gil's on the floor today.

Posted by: alec | April 19, 2008 2:25 PM

funny stuff guys as usual. This site has an awesome breakdown of the Cavs-Wiz issues ...

http://www.hoopsvibe.com/nba-blog/round-4-soulja-boy-feels-disrespected-by-lebron-james-supports-deshawn-stevenson-wizards-ar47950.html

Posted by: Alec | April 19, 2008 2:42 PM

I'm getting pissed!

Bench is not showing.

WHERE IS HAYWOOD ON Z??? EJ???

Not only does Haywood need to be on the court, but EJ needs to think about combining him with Blatche at times. They are killing us on the boards!

Lose the lead with LeBron on the bench to start the 4th?

Wiz are in trouble and they sure as hell are not winning this in 5 or 6.

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 2:45 PM

We can win this game if we get to the line more. It slows down the temp, which is to our favor, and we are a pretty damn good at making points at the line.

That means getting Arenas the ball because he gets to the line.

Posted by: B.A.M. | April 19, 2008 2:56 PM

We're going down in 1 point games again this year.

Posted by: I HATE LEBRON | April 19, 2008 3:09 PM

Good to see LeBron miss the free throw under pressure. 20.7 seconds left. We need a big basket now!

Posted by: Sixx | April 19, 2008 3:16 PM

i hate to sound like a broken record damnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn the REFS DO IT AGAIN! the most non fouls i seen in a while

Posted by: i | April 19, 2008 3:19 PM

Its good to know that we didn't realize the series started. 4-20 4th quarter!!!! What in the hell?????

Posted by: Owl | April 19, 2008 3:22 PM

the refs are taking this game away from us. even when we drive to the basket we can't get a call. lebron or Z take three steps then get hit, they get a call. and btw, lebron has thrown 2 intentional elbows (nothing semi-intentional about them).

it's crap like this that gets fans disenchanted with the nba. a few calls here and there is one thing. but 36-17 in free throw differential? that's a (throw in large curse word here) joke. they made 13 more free throws than we even took. that gave them the game. literally.

Posted by: JC | April 19, 2008 3:22 PM

I'm beyond pissed right now. This came was there, they were giving it to us, they didn't want it. Then we didn't hit any shots, Jamison time after time bricking wide open threes. Caron apparently is still at the hotel, Gil going back into Agent Zero mode and driving time after time aimlessly to the hole. I'm not sure Roger Mason even played. And Deshawn hit one shot all game. This should have been a 12 point victory.

Posted by: Owl | April 19, 2008 3:24 PM

The Wizards (all of them!) beat themselves today. They had the Cavs in the penalty early in the fourth quarter and what did the Wizards do, settle for a bunch of f@#%$#$&ing jump shots.
Yeah the refs were boning the Wizards over on most drives, but you have to keep going in there and driving the ball in and maybe you get a few calls. This was a mostly self-inflicted offensive meltdown and I think the player are more to blame for that than EJ.
The Wizards gave a winnable game away and that is freaking ridiculous.

Posted by: George Templeton | April 19, 2008 3:29 PM

Frustrating. We beat ourselves. Came out looking like the Zards of this year-sharing the ball and hitting the boards and contesting shots. Then the last 5 minutes Gil reverted back to old self of 1 on 1 drives and jacking up dumb shots. Hopefully they will sit him down and tell him to stop it. Not sure what that discussion between Gil and Hubbard was all about but I would not be surprised if that's what it was.
We need to regroup and get it on Monday. We can beat these guys at the Q if we play our game for 48 minutes.

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 19, 2008 3:31 PM

Gil had to drive at the end, they were playing him too tight and he had already passed the ball out to wide open shots for Jamison and Mason, but they didn't hit any of those shots.

Caron looked passive as ever on offense, just a couple of steals to show he had some semblance of a heartbeat. AJ was great on the boards for the most part, but missed a ton of open shots. Offensively, we were definitely not flowing and I think sitting out the big 3 at Orlando may have contributed to that.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 3:31 PM

It's hard to win when you're playing 8 against 5. Perfect illustration: at the end, Gil and Joe Smith go for the ball. Smith slams Gil to the floor. Jump ball instead of a foul. On the jump ball, Caron and LeBron go for the ball. No contact. Foul on Butler.

Do you need to know anything else?

Posted by: Keithinator | April 19, 2008 3:31 PM

Wiz are in TROUBLE!

All talk and no action! Arenas played pretty well, but was out of control and tired at the end. Glad EJ played him about 17 straight minutes for the first time in the playoffs. By all means don't give him a rest! LeBron rested more during that span!

Bench SUCKED! I don't count GA.

Coaching was questionable!

AJ played great but missed some WIDE OPEN threes that could have turned the tide with about 4 mins left. But, I believe, 16 rebounds against that front line is incredible.

DS played ok D, but was just horrible on offense!

And, finally, the biggest problem for the Wiz is CB just doesn't look right and is not playing well. A few good plays a game is not enough if we're going to win the series. I don't think we're going to have a better game out of AJ and perhaps GA and we still lost. Not a good sign.

Ain't over, but we better win on Monday!

By the way, the calls went to the Cave, but it is NOT why we lost the game!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 3:31 PM

Can't blame the refs for this one. Blame this one on bad 4th quarter shooting. This was a very winnable game, and we let it get away.

Posted by: rbi | April 19, 2008 3:34 PM

Yes the calls were lopsided, yes the refs pampered Lebron, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line is the Wizards failed to force the refs' hands by driving the ball hard to the basket, instead settling for too many jumpers through the first 3 quarters. Then they couldn't hit a shot in the 4th quarter, despite forcing multiple Cleveland misses with solid defense. That's what lost the game. Pointing the finger of blame at outside influences is a smokescreen.

That being said, they stayed in the game and had a chance down the stretch despite the fact that Butler, Stevenson, and Masonhad subpar offensive games. If those guys can get it going things still look good for the Wiz going forward.

Posted by: kalorama | April 19, 2008 3:35 PM

destink stevenson is the worst. but nuthin new. hes playin like he played all season. they should buy him, songaila and austin kearns a ticket and put the three of em on a one way train outta town.
stevenson will destroy the wizards worse than lebron.
oh and nice choice to keep one of your best shooters nick young on the bench.
great job eddie.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 3:38 PM

In close games, those calls add up. How about the 3 techs at the half? 2 on the Wiz, 1 on the Cavs. Free point, Cleveland. Ben Wallace and Z went on the attack, and Jamison gets whistled.

LeBron and Z traveled at least 7 times between them - it's sickening to watch. None of them were called. That's a lot of possessions. Caron, by contrast, pulled the exact same hop-step and another step after, in the 4th quarter. He looked exactly like James, in fact, in the move. Traveling, Caron.

And yes, it would be nice if Mason and Stevenson show up next game.

Posted by: Keithinator | April 19, 2008 3:38 PM

the only unknown thing at this point with the heartless wizards is whether they lose this series in 4, 5. 6, or 7 games. Me, I'm guessing they lose it in 6.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 3:38 PM

BmoreRev, don't know if you really followed the flow of the game in the 4th quarter? Gil was moving the ball around and getting AJ and others shots, but they all missed, 82-80 Wiz. There was at least 3 wide open threes by AJ, missed. Another brick by Mason in the corner. It wasn't until they were down by at least 4 that Gil tried to take over but you could see he didn't have anything left or the knee didn't allow him to explode to the hoop for those drives.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 3:39 PM

DS played ok D,
Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 3:31 PM

really? lebron what 32 or so. id hate to see what a bad game is for destink.
the guy is the new jared jeffries. remember him. so great he couldnt even break the horrid knicks lineup and they cant wait to ship him outta town.
destink is just as bad.
he stinks!!!!!

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 3:40 PM

Uh, in those "blah blah blahs" is a key to the game. Some players are going to be off some games; not every player is going to be hot. Every game in this series is likely to be close. When the calls are that egregious, it's hard to overcome.

Posted by: Keithinator | April 19, 2008 3:41 PM

Keith, come on man. Don't whine! Plus, of all the calls that is not the one to pick out. GA ripped the ball away from Joe Smith and fell down as a result and the game was over by then. Granted, LeBron falling down on the tip was a complete phantom call. He lost his balance reaching for the ball, period. Should have been a travel!

Jamison had the most non-calls. Guys falling on top of him etc and NO CALL?

How about I believe the first drive of the game by LeBron? A complete travel, but, NO, it was a touchy foul on the Wiz. I believe BH. Well, everyone can draw fouls if you can get an extra step in there!!!!!
I had to laugh of the sign of what was to come though.

LeTravel strikes again!

Where are all the Cavs fans talking about GA traveling??? I saw NO traveling whatsoever on him. Told ya so!

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 3:41 PM

destink stevenson, darius waste case songaila, austin i stink kearns, aubrey give me another playboy huff.
god almighty where do we find these stiffs. and worse how do they stick like bug killing paper that they not only start but they never come outta the game.
talka bout your team killers.
unreal.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 3:43 PM

"Uh, in those "blah blah blahs" is a key to the game. Some players are going to be off some games; not every player is going to be hot."

The key to the game is that players can't control what the refs do, but they can control what they do themselves. If they want more calls, they need to make more of the kinds of aggressive, physical plays on offense that put pressure on the refs to blow the whistle. They didn't. They settled for jumpshots instead of attacking the basket. Jumpshots don't get you to the line.

Posted by: kalorama | April 19, 2008 3:45 PM

btw if you think destink stevenson was off today youre deluding yourself. those are his regular averages. he plays that way every game. he wasnt cold. he was just being destink.
thats the shame. nuthin will change for him next game or the next.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 3:46 PM

And Stevenson and Mason didn't need to be "hot." They just needed not to be ice cold. If they'd managed to even be lukewarm, the Wiz could have won.

Posted by: kalorama | April 19, 2008 3:47 PM

dk, get real we all know you already think Nick Young is the 2nd best player on the team and the only guy standing in his way is Stevenson. If NY did play, Caron would have fouled out guarding LeBron or if NY was doing the guarding, LeBron would have had 50 while creating havoc.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 3:47 PM

DK, uh really, He forced him into some tough shots and you are acting like he was guarding him for all 32 or whatever he had. NOBODY in the league is going to STOP him! If your in front and a hand in the face, that is all you can ask for. Keeping him to 30/32 pts with that roster should be enough to beat this team. Plus, he was not setting up his teammates at will either.

Guess Rick Carlisle who is infamous for preaching defense as a coach was wrong when he said DS played pretty good defense on LeBron?

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 3:48 PM

Mason did take some questionable shots that looked like playoff nerves but a few of the other ones just looked like he lost a bit of confidence in his shot. When that happens, he needs to go back to spotting up for wide open shots and letting the game come to him.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 3:49 PM

we really needed mason to show up. poor shooting in the fourth. Horrible defense in the last 4 minutes (don't give Lebron the shot, foul the hell out of him). NO, THE REFS DID NOT DECIDE THIS ONE. Wiz couldn't back up all the trash talk. Been a Wiz/Bullets fan for over 25 years, nothing has changed. soft and no heart.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 3:51 PM

i effing hate lebron and want someone to break him!!!!!

gil has to realize that it is a team game!!

eff this!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 3:53 PM

Sure I was watching. And to me he still needed to trust AJ and Mason and Caron. Could pick spots as he did earlier and shoot it up but dishing to those guys was the best chance to sneak back in.

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 19, 2008 3:53 PM

Props to Carlisle for some uncharacteristically well-balanced commentary. He made some insightful observations about the Wizards and managed to avoid turning the whole thing into a Lebron lovefest.

Posted by: kalorama | April 19, 2008 3:54 PM

It's just game 1, relax. The Wiz showed that they can play and beat the Cavs. Just had a poor shooting 4th quarter (and 2nd quarter). The nerves should be gone and the series will still be won.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 3:55 PM

yea those 15-20 pts nick woulda scored definitely woulda been a bummer. and the way lebron was leavin the great destink in his rear view mirror for 32, if thats the best we got defending him with the cavs having no other real good shooters, well then maybe you oughta just forget about the rest of the series.
hate to tell you but if we eva get rid of destink, he'll wind up just like mr jared jeffries fightin for bench time. no other team would be dumb enough to give him the minutes we do.
ridiculous.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 3:55 PM

Kal, exactly right. If Mason and DS showed even a pulse on offense, we probably would have won by 5/6 pts. Ironically, DS's comments did not affect LeBron as much as it put too much focus and pressure on him when it came to making 3 pts. I could almost feel it through the TV every time he had an open shot!

I am a little scared that we have some mental block playing this team as we did with the Heat for so long.

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 3:56 PM

mental block in the playoffs. ever since the 80's

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 3:57 PM

AJ's 3 straight 3s when the Wiz were up 4, instead of driving the basket to potentially get fouled was the dagger.

Also, RM should only be allowed to shoot if he's got his feet set and he is receiving a pass. He has not business creating shots or taking them off the dribble. It hasn't worked all season, why would it work today.

F Cleveland, let's not give Game 2 away...

Posted by: CB | April 19, 2008 3:58 PM

Perfect example is Cavs. James didn't win it by himself. He trusted the others who were cold to hit big shots down the stretch. and they did. That's what Gil needs to do.

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 19, 2008 3:59 PM

I second Kal's comments about Carlisle, he was evenhanded in his comments. If it is him or Hubie Brown, the Wizards actually get a fair shake in the commentary.

Posted by: George Templeton | April 19, 2008 3:59 PM

dk, your comments on DS and NY are ridiculous. There is no coach in the league that would have played NY this game. He might have hit a couple of shots, but he just as easily could have turned the ball over a few times and fed the other teams momentum. Plus, he is clueless on defense too!

If Mason keeps playing like this in the playoffs, he is losing money! lol

Of course, there is plenty of time for everyone to turn this around. Just not a good start whatsoever!!!

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 4:00 PM

dk, get real we all know you already think Nick Young is the 2nd best player on the team

Posted by: | April 19, 2008 3:47 PM

yea silly me for recognizing real talent.
then theres darius please dont throw me the ball songaila:
20 minutes, 3 pts on 1 of 6 shooting. 20 freakin minutes.
destink stevenson 38 minutes, 3 pts on 1 of 9 shooting.
y
ea thank god you didnt play nick young. you dont want any1 comin off the bench and actually showin these guys up. he might actually put the ball in the hoop.
gimmie a break.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:03 PM

CB, your totally right about Jamison's 3 missed 3 pts. We were up 84 - 82 at the time though and a 5 pt lead or greater with 4 mins left would have been huge. Instead, we went in the tank. Hard to criticize AJ though. He is the only one who had a strong all around game. But, his 3 pt shooting has been off ALL season. Extremely streaky from 3.

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 4:08 PM

DS played ok D,

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 3:31 PM

u guys are really drinkin the koolaid arentcha?

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:08 PM

Wiz grades for game 1:

BHay: A- Had a great 1st quarter, played decent defense on Z, probably should have had a few more rebounds but overall decent game. Maybe EJ should have played him a few more minutes esp when Z was torching AB.

CB: C- Looked out of sorts and took some bad shots. Missed a bunch of easy shots and wasn't aggressive at all. Had some decent steals but wasn't active and didn't make many plays like he typically does especially when matched up on Wally.

AJ: B- Nice boardwork most of the time. Early on was terrible on D but got average later. Horrible shooting especially on wide open shots.

DS: C Made LeBron earn his points, mostly tough shots and competed. Shot poorly but didn't force any shots at all.

AD: C- Ran the team, but didn't offer much playmaking today and missed some easy close gimmes on the floaters. Terrible decision making on that pass, easily ending in a Cavs steal and crowd rowsing dunk by LeBron. Turn the tide type play.

Mason, AB, Songaila: D Didn't offer much to the team, missed shots and defense and playmaking was missing. Only good thing was AB laying a forearm into LeBron early, sending a message. But overally a big stinker by the bench.

Gil: B Came out blazing hot, had some nice assists to teammates and was incredible on his outside shots. Early 2nd half, played pretty well but wore down it looked like. Had some nice playmaking passes to AJ and Mason in one stretch but Wiz ended up with zero points for them. Tried to shoulder too much in the end, forced some shots, and it got ugly.

Comments?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:09 PM

Come on now...Young is the 5th guard and a rookie who is defensive liability. This is not December...this is the playoffs.

If Mason and AJ can't find their shots we indeed are in big trouble.

I thought we played very good ball for 42 minutes. Props to Haywood for keeping us in it early. Steven A. Smith hit it on the head at halftime. It is the playoffs. The intensity increased and I thought we set a tone that we were going to match their energy. But down the stretch we just didn't execute.

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 19, 2008 4:10 PM

Comments?

Posted by: | April 19, 2008 4:09 PM

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:11 PM

dk must be 88's cousin.... just with a beef with a different player!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:14 PM

Young is the 5th guard and a rookie who is defensive liability.
Posted by: BmoreRev | April 19, 2008 4:10 PM

am i missin something here. hes one of the best scorers on the team. you act like he never played defense before.
destink is the most overated defensive player around. he gave up 32 to james and scored 3.
jamison never plays defense. doesnt seem to bother you.
most of the wiz dont play defense but all of a sudden nick who can score 20 is a defensive liability.

you tellin me nick cant do better while probably scoring 20?
are you all for real???

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:15 PM

DON'T PANIC!!! This is only one game, they will get better if you are a true fan then have faith Gil looked great the bench didn't help us at all and they owe EJ big time.How does one game decide a series? it doesn't so lets stop acting like it does.I still say WIZ in six!!!.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | April 19, 2008 4:16 PM

When a team shoots 37 foul shots something is wrong, all I ask is that the officials show the same courtesy to Gilbert Areans that they do Lebron James.

Posted by: Jason | April 19, 2008 4:17 PM

After Donaghy I don't think its out of line to question the integrity of the officials in this league.

Posted by: Jason | April 19, 2008 4:19 PM

Gil will and should be starting by game 5, AD turns the ball over WAY too much.

Caron looks like doo-doo as well. Mason looked lost, Stevenson is clearly hurting.

Jamison and Gil kept them in the game. The Wiz had thier chances but couldn't make the open shot at the end.

For God sakes guys, this is the playoffs. Don't let Lebron and his well bought officiating beat you. All I can say is all I am "witnessing" is a lack of calls from the refs on all of that travelling he does.
Seriously, three steps every time.

Makes me nuts.

Wiz still in 6. Like I said before the Cavs get two games for bad officiating.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | April 19, 2008 4:19 PM

i didnt wait till tonight to tell you destink stevenson is the worst. ive been tellin ya that from the beginning of the year.
in the playoffs, the best rise and the worst show themselves for what they are.
destink stevenson is the austin kearns of the wizards. hes a team killer. has been all year and will continue to be so. and what you guys like about him blows me away.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:21 PM

You mean AJ and all those boards he grabbed aren't as important as the 6 TOs to go along with 15 pts that NY would have put up? Plus giving LeBron a free ride for 50 pts and 12 assists 10 boards? That's how NY would have played in this game. Maybe next year, he might have a clue how to use that immense talent, but not yet and it showed throughout the year. You just chose to emphasize his scoring and not the slippery fingers and TOs and cluelessness on defense. Also, every shot NY takes is not off the offensive set, but in isolation. He doesn't even understand the offense yet. Talent he has, but he's still a lost rookie mentally.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:22 PM

dont blame this one on the refs. this was on the wiz and eddie. they had every opportunity to win this game.
so stop cryin and grow some stones.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:23 PM

Talent he has, but he's still a lost rookie mentally.

Posted by: | April 19, 2008 4:22 PM

and pray tell, what does savy vet destink stevenson bring to the table?
i really wanna know?

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:25 PM

Typical late-game choking from the Wizards in the playoffs. They resort to jumpers, while LeTravel hops and jumps to the rim. It's ridiculous. Same stuff all the time, different season. That's why it's hard for me to have faith in this team. There's no way the Cavs should've been in control of this game because the Wizards are better. I'm getting tired of this playoffs nonsense.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 4:25 PM

- The Wizards were too in love with the jump shot. The Cavs are tough inside, but you've got to go there. Go to Haywood more.

- Caron has to show up. Even if he's hurt, he can drive and get fouled.

- In such a physical series, EJ can't shorten the bench. Guys were exhausted in the 4th.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:28 PM

Washington never really got into their offense, especially in the second half. The fourth quarter was just ugly to watch from an offensive standpoint.

I know he's hurt, but Caron Butler needs to shoot the ball more and get more involved in the offensive flow.

Sloppy passing created turnover points for the Cavs on several occasions: reminder - don't pass the ball to your teammate's feet.

Wizards looked nervous out there, unable to get into their flow. I look for that to change, starting in the next game. They showed that they can rack up points in a hurry, they just need to be consistent.

Posted by: satch | April 19, 2008 4:28 PM

aren't as important as the 6 TOs to go along with 15 pts that NY would have put up?

Posted by: | April 19, 2008 4:22 PM

btw if we can stick to facts:
destink is averaging 1.24 turnovers per game.
nick is averaging 1.25.

so not sure where all those phantom turnovers youre worried about are coming from.

lets keep it real.
and god please spare us from the 20 pts he could put up.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:29 PM

I won't blame the refs, but it was a little one-sided most of the game. But the Wizards blew it in the fourth quarter when when they were in the bonus with more than seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, and then decided they'd shoot jumpers the rest of the way. Gil shied away from some contact. AJ couldn't shoot consistently from the outside, but he kept heaving them. Butler looked terrible. It's typical Wizards playoff choking. So yes, I'm going to panic because they had an opportunity to steal Game 1, and they blew it big time. They talked about how focused they were. They talked about how much better they were. And they came out and crapped themselves. It's all about setting a tone, and they didn't do it today. It's the same stuff. One team looks stronger mentally, despite that fact it's not as talented athletically.

What a stark contrast: I watch a Caps team come out with urgency and intensity and grab a must-win. It was exciting. Then I watch this basketball debacle and see a Wizards team that loafed it in the fourth quarter. I'm just so tired of it all.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 4:30 PM

and pray tell, what does savy vet destink stevenson bring to the table?
i really wanna know?

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:25 PM

Son, if you have to ask, then you obviously don't have a clue how the game is played. Go ask your momma how it's played.

And please, if the 70th game of the season was the beginning of the season, then you'd be telling the truth but it's not. We've been here all season long and you only arrived to bash DS when NY had some good games. Telling lies to prove a false point is 88's domain, don't make it yours too unless you are the one and same.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:32 PM

Not to mention, the Cavs were a team reeling after that awful trade. They closed the year weakly. So Game 1 was winnable. Now the Cavs have the energy and the faith that they can win this thing.

Caps and Wizards play on Monday. If I have to choose one, I'll take the young Caps because at least I never question their effort.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 4:33 PM

to be honest, i never expected the wiz to win this game comin in but the game was there for the taking and they really stunk it up.
same old crap. really, really disappointing. and destink was the main culprit.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:33 PM

Anon 4:09 your grading is pretty fair, although I would give Daniels a D. I thought he was poor throughout.

Posted by: George Templeton | April 19, 2008 4:34 PM

Thanks anon, on your NY analysis. dk, is wrong, but everyone is entitled to their opinon even though he has some sort of agenda against DS. I'm glad you stated your dislike of him in the beginning of the year bc that just means you've been wrong for a long time!!! lol

I would just add anon that besides his defense and TO problems. I seriously doubt he would have shot that well in his first playoff game. I'm sure nerves would have gotten the best of him.

Oh, Barry during halftime just reminded me of something that had me almost pulling my hair out. We doubled early on LeBron almost the entire game. What happened the last few minutes??? That, the use of Haywood, and playing GA 17 straight mins were EJ's three biggest blunders. But, we have to win in spite of EJ's errors sometimes!

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 4:35 PM

And dk, your TO/game stats are misleading considering the minutes DS played and the minutes NY played. DS turned it over 1.25 playing many, many more minutes than NY. Not to mention, NY would've been lost defensively. That said, I would've considered playing him for Mason in this game because Roger looked rattled from the start. But I wouldn't substitute DS for NY.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 4:35 PM

btw if we can stick to facts:
destink is averaging 1.24 turnovers per game.
nick is averaging 1.25.

so not sure where all those phantom turnovers youre worried about are coming from.

lets keep it real.
and god please spare us from the 20 pts he could put up.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:29 PM

LMAO you didn't just post that TOs/gm did you sonny boy? So how many minutes a game does NY and DS play each? Gee that must be something new... And the 20 points he could put up? So DS didn't up up 20 this year either?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:36 PM

to be honest, i never expected the wiz to win this game comin in but the game was there for the taking and they really stunk it up.
same old crap. really, really disappointing. and destink was the main culprit.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:33 PM

He was not the culprit. The culprit was AJ's poor outside shooting. Butler's terrible game. The team in general choking down the stretch and getting away from an attacking mentality. To call DS the main culprit is to admit your ignorance.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 4:37 PM

What a strange blog....just yesterday...in fact just this morning all of you were predicting the Wiz to win this game and the series. Now you are all sad sack whiners! I ask yesterday why everyone was so certain we would win but got no response. Very strange when Ray - who is usually Mr. Negativity - is still on the bandwagon but no one else.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:38 PM

Son, if you have to ask, then you obviously don't have a clue how the game is played.
Posted by: | April 19, 2008 4:32 PM

please enlighten me o wise one. i guess im 2 dumb to understand what destink brings to the table. so please teach me. im not to proud to still learn.
lay it on me.

We've been here all season long and you only arrived to bash DS when NY had some good games.

btw im honored that you think youve been keepin such tabs on me. thats amazin cause i dont know who the heck you are. and never have.
so thanks for thinkin that.
unfortunately ive been callin it on destink the entire season and will continue to do so.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:38 PM

dk, here's my final comment to your blindness on this issue. How many minutes a game does DS play vs NY? Ok...that settles the turnover issue.

Oh, Ray, AD a turnover machine? What? He's led the league multiple times in assists to turnover ratio. That came out of left field.
One bad turnover does not a game or career make.

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 4:39 PM

@dk

You must be if you don't really know what DS brings to the table. Honestly, you don't know?

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 4:39 PM

Anon 4:09 your grading is pretty fair, although I would give Daniels a D. I thought he was poor throughout.

Posted by: George Templeton | April 19, 2008 4:34 PM

It's hard to give him a D considering his limited minutes.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 4:40 PM

btw if we can stick to facts:
destink is averaging 1.24 turnovers per game.
nick is averaging 1.25.

lets keep it real.
Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:29 PM

That's 1.25 turnovers in 15 minutes per game for Nick Young.... Far and away, the worst guard on the team as far as turnovers go....

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:40 PM

Gmae 1 is over. Gilbert may be the best end-of-qusrter player, but LeBron is a better end-og-game player.

Wizards just cannot buy a shot near the end of the game. Hope Wizards can pull it out in game 2.

Posted by: Sagaliba | April 19, 2008 4:41 PM

The playoffs is a whole new beast. Guys like Mason, Blatche, NY and Songaila are pretty much worthless. Mason couldn't hit an open shot and Blatche looked nervous and lost at times. Songaila played some decent Def on Z, but only put up 3 pts. These guys will have to step it up if Zards want to win the series. You can put Stevenson in that group too, he missed several wide open 3s.

Posted by: disremembered | April 19, 2008 4:43 PM

CHOKE JOB! Yes by the team and the coach. What a time to renew "small ball". Songalia can only compete at the 2, not at the 1, but here we go again...20 minutes at the 1.
If anyone thiks that the refs do not control the flow and pace of the game, think again.
Worse than Lestrong is Z ,he is literally cha cha'ing in the lane with nary a call, except the tacky touch fall on the defender.
This is now 7 straight playoff losses to this very mediocre team.
They have all been competitive games, even last year without Arenas and Butler. So EJ decisons and refs absurdity have a significant impact on these painful losses.

Posted by: mricklen | April 19, 2008 4:44 PM

LeTravel looks better because he does what any player should do late in the game: Take the ball to the basket.

He's also better at the end of a game because opposing teams won't go near him for fear the ref calls a foul because a player breathed on him. That extra step he usually gets helps, too.

But today's game wasn't about that. It was about a typical Wizards choke-job in the playoffs.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 4:44 PM

It's just not only the 1.25 TOs per 15 minutes a game, it's the lack of any assists to go against the TOs. You should only get TOs when you're passing and assisting teammates. NY does not assist teammates for baskets. Even as limited as DS in overall talent, he adds some good assists in the Princeton offense.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:45 PM

Anon 4:38, I am not sure what you are reading, but I haven't read too much give up or its over from most of the commenters. All I have read is frustration over a winnable game getting thrown away and it is valid and correct.

Posted by: George Templeton | April 19, 2008 4:46 PM

Basically we let a winnable game get away, and it WAS winnable despite the hometown officiating (20 more free throws, yikes) ... Need to get the next one is all.

Have to get some more offense out of bench players not named Arenas.

Posted by: khrabb | April 19, 2008 4:46 PM

@mricklen

Good point. EJ reverted, too. I think that's a lot of the problem with this team. EJ regresses, too. He's done a great job this year, but when he gets everyone back, he shortens that bench, goes small and mismanages the game. There's some kind of mental block on the players and coaches when they play the Cavs in the playoffs.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 4:47 PM

mricklen I hope you meant the 4 not the 5 position instead of the 2 and the 1, which are backcourt positions.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:48 PM

LMAO you didn't just post that TOs/gm did you sonny boy? So how many minutes a game does NY and DS play each?
Posted by: | April 19, 2008 4:36 PM

oh yes i did. and since you wanna compare and multiply minutes, no problem there, maybe you wanna multiply youngs 7.5 ppg vs destinks 11.2 for the same time period profeseur.

tell you what. you take destink, ill take nick young any and every day.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:48 PM

Beware of guys who post their frustration 15 times following a close loss -- too much emotion and no balance. The score was tied with a minute to go and the Wiz were visiting. The Wiz got open looks and missed. They shot 3 for 16 in the 4th quarter. That's pretty much the story on the game. Posters like dk make my skin crawl. Deshawn Stevenson will have a good series, even though he's playing hurt, and the Wiz will prevail. If they win Monday, they'll be sitting pretty, coming out of Cleveland 1-1. If they lose Monday, they have to take the Cavs to the woodshed back at VC.

Posted by: 7snider7 | April 19, 2008 4:49 PM

The game was tied or the Wizards were ahead by two for a few minutes late, but they reverted. That's the problem. I'm concerned with their composure and decision-making late in games, which is something we've seen in the playoffs for the last two years. I want to see something change. Being close late in a game was fine last year when AJ had to hold the team together. Being close late in a game now is no consolation. I didn't think the Wizards would sweep the Cavs, but I thought they'd take this winnable game, at least.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 4:52 PM

LMAO you didn't just post that TOs/gm did you sonny boy? So how many minutes a game does NY and DS play each?
Posted by: | April 19, 2008 4:36 PM

oh yes i did. and since you wanna compare and multiply minutes, no problem there, maybe you wanna multiply youngs 7.5 ppg vs destinks 11.2 for the same time period profeseur.

tell you what. you take destink, ill take nick young any and every day.

Posted by: dk | April 19, 2008 4:48 PM

Oh so you mean we were talking about ppg not how clueless NY was on defense and TOs is the reason why DS is playing and NY isn't? Must be hard concentrating on the topic at hand when you're lying and in denial.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 4:52 PM

Anon, your grades are pretty good. I would give AD's an incomplete bc he barely played.

I would add a D for coaching!

1) Haywood again did not play enough. Songalia or Blatche on Z is ridiculous. Plus, he was playing well offensively.

2) Playing GA 17 straight mins when everyone knows he is not in complete game shape is just plain dumb. It was part of the reason GA faded down the stretch along with poor decision making. Also, why not play AD with GA to handle the ball at times??? Would help GA conserve energy. Nah, makes too much sense for EJ to do it.

3) Mysteriously stopped doubling LeBron down the stretch bc why the hell would you do that with the game on the line?

What do you think ladies and gentleman?

Would love to hear your comments on this.

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 4:58 PM

It's really so easy to crap on a player when he hasn't had a good game, much harder to put your neck out prior to a game. DK, if you had stated that EJ was a dummy to put DS in the top part of the 8 or 9 man rotation he rattled off prior to the series, that would have been something a LITTLE more telling and somewhat valid. BUT waiting for a bad game by a player to crap on doesn't take much guts. If your opinion is gonna be wrong, at least have the guts to stand up for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 5:00 PM

I'm starting to think EJ coaches better when he doesn't have all his pieces. When he has everyone, he seems to make some questionable coaching moves (going small, no double team, playing Gil too much, not settling his team down when they're chucking like crazy).

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 5:01 PM

Haywood had 4 fouls pretty early, right? No wonder he did not play longer.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 5:03 PM

If Mason, Twan, Caron or Stevenson hit just 2 of those 20 missed 3s we win on the road. Yes we gave this up in the 4th, and Caron, Mason, Stevenson and Daniels played about as poorly as possible on the offensive side, while LeBron was flawless for the last 3 quarters. But we were right there on the road. Cleveland looks very vulnerable. Wallace and Wally have no place starting in the NBA. Lets not over-react, its Game 1 and I really don't expect these shooting woes to continue once we get back home. And please don't rip Gil for driving. He had a lot of no calls and Cleveland was in the penalty and his teammates couldn't hit a thing...

ps i really hate lebron james

Posted by: relax! | April 19, 2008 5:04 PM

George Templeton, Colin, and Rob P, thanks for the comments on the grading. I proabably would have to agree with Colin and Rob P on the incomplete for AD although when I graded them I never looked at the stats, it was just what I saw and recollected from actually watching the game. I knew he didn't play many minutes, but didn't know it was so little to "qualify" for an incomplete.

In either case, as a team and as pointed out a coaching staff, the Wizards didn't play well that's for sure. If we get more than half of our guys playing well, then the Cavs SHOULDN'T have a chance. But we'll have to see on Monday night.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 5:04 PM

7, yeah, there may be some venting, but so what? I for one have not thrown in the towel whatsoever. I just said a very bad beginning. Did you see the stat that the team that loses the first game loses the series 80% of the time? I am also tired of saying we should've, we could've, we're injured, we're this, we're that. As EJ said, talk the talk now walk the walk - which should apply to him as well. Loose talk has also put added pressure on this team, which is not too bright. It did nothing as far as LeTravel is concerned.

Plus, the game was NOT tied with a minute to go unless your talking about a different game. We got schooled the last 3 mins of the game per usual. At least when the Cavs are the opponent!

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 5:06 PM

NO MORE NICK YOUNG CALLS! He is a young mess of a player. No D, no movement, no pass, no muscle and a rookie. It reminds me of those dumb calls for Juan Dixon getting more minutes a few years ago after he'd have a hot game or two...

Posted by: and please... | April 19, 2008 5:06 PM

Winning game 1 was important. And the Wizards can't wait until they get home to play well, or it's too late. Not to mention, Cleveland plays well in Washington. They simply don't get distracted by playing in D.C., so the Wizards had to take this one. If the Wizards lose Game 2 Monday night, this series is over, and EG will have some thinking to do.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 5:09 PM

right on and please...! how many times have we been amazed at some of the shots that NY has made with ease? And then on the other, how many times have we seen him lose the ball, have it slip out ready for a dunk, look clueless on defense, not ever pass the ball to an open big man, etc... How well do you think a big man is willing to pick NY's man when he knows NY will never pass to him when he makes a cut or is wide open for a 15 footer?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2008 5:12 PM

anon 5:12, right on. But, the whole NY thing is just a distraction by dk and has nothing to do with this game whatsoever except in his mind.

Colin, unfortunately I believe your completely right. If we lose game 2, the series is more than likely over. The pressure will be too great to go along with all the added pressure GA and DS have put on themselves - DS can't even handle it now as evidenced by his shooting in game 1. I don't see that scenario ending well whatsoever. The question is what would EG have to think about.....

I say if and it's just a complete hypothetical at this point. But, if we lose this series in 5/6 games, I think he should seriously consider firing EJ for one.

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 5:26 PM

@ RobP

I would agree with that. EJ did well this year, but he hasn't advanced his teams in the playoffs. And his coaching, which was great this year, was suspect today. EG would also have to consider what to do with AJ and Gil. Who does he resign, if he resigns either? Just a lot of question marks because if they lose this series, that means this team, with a static core of players, hasn't advanced past the first round in three years. That's a little off into the future, and the Wizards could grab Game 2 and take both at home and win the series. But I always think about these things because the Wizards choke in the postseason.

Posted by: Colin | April 19, 2008 5:31 PM

Calling for Nick Young is as foolish as I would be if I called for DMac to come in and stop James. Neither of these rookies has the experience to help in this series. They are talented and with seasoning will contribute more a year from now.

I do however expect Mason to snap out. And Blatche wasn't as much of a liability as I had expected either.

Posted by: BmoreRev | April 19, 2008 5:43 PM

@ Colin

I hear ya. Just a complete hypothetical right now, but this team doesn't deserve the benefit of any doubt. They have not earned it!

I just don't see what EJ has ever done that has been so great. He got us to the playoffs this year in a conference where Atlanta made the playoffs. So what? There are 3 all-stars on this team and 2 of them played most of the season. If we had seriously contended for the division, which we could have, if you took away 6/7 of the dozen BAD loses, we would have been right there. Then I would say he did a GREAT job of coaching. Another playoff series loss would make him look very average for sure.

The best thing he does as coach is handle the personalities on this team, which with the Wiz equates to letting GA do whatever the hell he wants. That's not necessarily great coaching!

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 6:04 PM

i'm tired of people saying that the wizards didn't force the refs hands. both arenas and butler drove to the basket multiple times each in the last few minutes and got no calls. like i said earlier. the cavs getting 5 more calls than us because of lebron is one thing. heck even 10 more calls you culd attribute to "te wiz weren't agressive enough," but 20 more? that's more than the wizards got total!

it's just shameful really. hopefully someone on the wizards speaks up and takes the fine for questioning the calls.

i'm seeing a highlight right now where they're showing lebron complain to the refs about a hard foul from blatche (that was called) that knocked him down. of course, he took a solid 3 steps before getting there, but no travel was called...

Posted by: JC | April 19, 2008 6:04 PM

I think EJ's job is definitely in jeopardy. If zards don't make it out of the first round, he's gotta go. There's too much talent on this team to not get further. EJ may have gotten them as far as he can.

Can someone ask EG to give Larry Brown a call?

Posted by: disremembered | April 19, 2008 6:06 PM

But, if we lose this series in 5/6 games, I think he should seriously consider firing EJ for one.

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 5:26 PM

That would be one of the dumbest moves in the recent history of the NBA. People look at the box scores, stats, and standings from the last couple years and they see the Wiz lost 2 opening series' in a row. This would be a third. What doesn't show up is the fact that the big 3 haven't been 100% since the first series. Both Caron and Arenas out last year. Arenas 8 games back from missing 66 in a row this year. Caron missing 20+ this year. If you're going to question something, question the ability of the big 3 to stay healthy. I've got news, EJ has taken this team to the playoffs for 5 straight years, with injury prone "superstars" missing a lot of action year after year. This after being a perennial lottery team for however many seasons. To judge EJ on either of the past two playoff series' is a complete joke.

Posted by: psps23 | April 19, 2008 6:07 PM

The series is far, far from over. But we have to get more from Caron. He looked terrible today. No quickness, not much energy; a couple of steals from playing passing lanes, and that's about it.

Antawn should never should from more than 10 feet away from the basket anymore.

Someone mentioned 3 for 16 in the final quarter. I didn't realize that stat -- that's the game right there.

I also agree 100 percent with those who were scratching their heads every moment that Blatche and (especially) Songaila were guarding Z. That's insanity. Whenever it happened, Cleveland immediately starting posting Z and dumping it in to him, which was exactly what they should have done. He's comfortable against everyone but Brendan. Horrific coaching move by Eddie -- otherwise, I didn't see much to complain about on the coaching front.

Posted by: Keithinator | April 19, 2008 7:06 PM

Make that "Antawn should never SHOOT from more than 10 feet away..."

Posted by: Keithinator | April 19, 2008 7:07 PM

I think you guys are reading too much into this. What I saw was a team that went cold at the end of the third quarter and never heated up again. Simple as that. I do think Gil should have tried to get his teammates some easy shots down the stretch, because he wasn't hitting, but then again, no one else was either.

Before the series started I had the Wiz losing the first game and winning the next three. Game 5 is a tossup, but if Clev wins that one, then we win it in 6.

Posted by: jones-y | April 19, 2008 7:16 PM

Old Dinah Washington song: "What a difference a day makes/twenty-four little hours..." or in this case two days. Way too much chicken little going on here. The Wiz will win Monday. It's a veteran team of sound character (well, mostly). Like most of you, I think the Wiz are the more talented team. They will adjust, and talent will win out. RobP, I see the stat about losing the opener, but what are the stats when the visitor emerges 1-1, then goes home for the next two? I tell ya, most of you guys will be singing a different song Monday night.

Posted by: 7snider7 | April 19, 2008 7:34 PM

I agree that the Wizards will come back from this - Lebron had a great game, and the Wizards went scoreless for a long time in the 4th, and it was still close. When the Wizards' shots fall, the tables will turn.

And I have to say, I'm glad that Cleveland is putting up a fight. It makes it very interesting. This was once of their most interesting games in the past few years. When Gilbert hit that 34-footer, I could've sworn that the Cavs were done. But they fought back and got the ball to the hole, and it's to their credit. The Wizards need to find a way to overcome them if they have any serious thoughts of making a deep playoff run. The weaknesses that the Cavs exploit can be exploited by others, they just have to address those things and rebound.

Posted by: satch | April 19, 2008 7:59 PM

@ 7

I hope your right. I analyze, but it's not like I WANT us to lose. But, this team has a lot of pressure going into game 2. Some of it self inflicted!

@ psp

One of the dumbest moves, really? I got news for you - make that 4 straight years with one appearance past round 1. So now it's all the coaching and the players just can't stay healthy. While the injury issue may be somewhat true, something might have to be tried. This nucleus does not have indefinite championship potential and he is NOT a GREAT coach!!!!! Still 44% lifetime winning percentage last time I checked. I'm sure there is an excuse for that too!

Pretend it's football. Lifetime losing percentage coach who happens to get his team to the playoffs for 4 straight years, but never does anything significant and whose team does not play championship caliber defense. You don't think that coach would be on the hot seat??? Please....

@ Keith

True...it's not close to over, but I listed a couple of other head scratching moves by the great EJ earlier.

1) Why was GA totally gassed at the end? Bc EJ played him 17 straight minutes! Oops...brilliant...not in great game shape yet, but sounds like a good idea to me.
2) BH as you mentioned. Z should never be on the court without BH!
3) Mysteriously stopped doubling LeBron down the stretch bc by all means he's the guy you want taking the shot one on one. I would rather give Delonte West WIDE OPEN 3's than do what we did.

Question: When was the last time you watched the Wiz and thought to yourself - WOW THAT WAS A CLEVER COACHING MOVE OR I REALLY LIKE X STRATEGY OR REALLY NICE PLAY OUT OF A TIMEOUT? WHEN?

I ask this bc I watched the Suns/Spurs game and I thought that quite a few times by each coach. I wish I could say the same about ours, which I do when I feel he had a good coaching game - FYI.

Alright, you guys got me started/distracted on EJ...lol

Go Wiz! It definitely ain't over and I can't stand LeBron!!!

Posted by: Rob P | April 19, 2008 8:30 PM

"I also agree 100 percent with those who were scratching their heads every moment that Blatche and (especially) Songaila were guarding Z."

Haywood picked up his 4th foul very early into the 3rd quarter. What the Hell was Jordan supposed to do? Leave him out there? That's nonsense. He had to take him out. And Blatche was ineffective guarding Ilgauskas in the first half so Songaila was the only remaining option. Sometimes the players and the game dictate what choices the coach makes.

Posted by: kalorama | April 20, 2008 2:59 AM

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