Thursday update II


DeShawn Stevenson, who spained his right ankle late in last night's loss to Milwaukee, did not practice today but said he hoped to play tomorrow night against Miami. However, he added that the ankle "is really hurting." He underwent treatment today and will do so again tomorrow. He's officially a game time decision.

Antawn Jamison, who sprained his right shoulder on the same play, left the arena with his right arm in a sling and did not participate in today's light practice (it was more like a shootaround). An MRI exam taken today revealed no structural damage to the shoulder and Jamison is officially listed as doubtful for tomorrow night's game against the Heat.

Gilbert Arenas participated in today's workout which is a good sign given that he made his return to game action last night after missing 66 games with a left knee injury. He did not speak with reporters again today after also declining to speak before or after the game. The guy hasn't stopped saying/blogging things for weeks, told me and Mike Wise that he wasn't playing last night 24 hours earlier but then did and now he's silent. Strange yes. But, that's Gilbert.

Coach Eddie Jordan stayed home today because he's still feeling the effects of a sinus headache that had him feeling low before the game last night. He was in the post-game press conference and didn't look good. Associate Head Coach Mike O'Koren spoke to the media today. Jordan told O'Koren that he will back tomorrow for shootaround and the game against the Heat.

O'Koren on when he learned that Arenas was going to play last night: "I didn't know he was playing until he came running out to the bench."

There were about a million ways the Wizards could have won that game last night but everything went wrong. After Butler reached in, dug the ball away from Andrew Bogut and then forced a jump ball by tying up Ramon Sessions, Butler won the tip. The ball shot the corner where Jamison dove into the stands to keep it alive and tapped it down court. Antonio Daniels appeared to have a line on it but Sessions beat him to the ball and called timeout.

Royal Ivey inbounded to Bogut, who was defended by Brendan Haywood, and Bogut, seeing Arenas come at him off of Sessions in the corner, passed the ball out and Sessions made the shot.

Was the referee a tad late in signaling the press table to start the clock? Perhaps, he was but none of the Wizards were blaming the clock. The bottom line is that Arenas was not supposed to leave Sessions there. A shot from the corner - as the Wizards learned in the playoffs two years ago when Damon Jones made a game-winner from the same spot - the among the easiest shots for a NBA guard, even one we've never heard of.

Arenas would not have been in the game had Stevenson not gone down. Because Eddie wasn't here today, I did
not get to ask him whether he considered going with Roger Mason Jr. instead of Arenas there given that he's taller and far more defensively sound.

O'Koren on the final play: "What we did was take away (Michael) Redd and I think it was (Bobby) Simmons on the weak side. We switched that. They got the ball to Bogut, we got sucked in a little bit and they threw it out to Sessions and he hit a tough shot. Gil got back out there and got a hand up but give the guy credit: he's a young kid who has played in the D-League and he hit a shot I'm sure he'll remember a lot."


By Ivan Carter |  April 3, 2008; 1:24 PM ET
Previous: Jamison and Stevenson injured in tough loss | Next: Jamison Out, Friday Update

Comments

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Tough loss, on more than one (first) level...

hopefully Jamison isn't hurt as bad as I am afraid.

Posted by: g | April 3, 2008 2:06 PM

Arm in a sling and no comment from AJ? He's going to be out more than a couple of games considering its his shooting arm and he'll have to be able to absorb heavy contact under the basket unlike GA who plays on the perimeter. I'm no doctor but based on AJ's ability to withstand pain and the agony he was in on the sideline, it looked like more than a minor injury. My thoughts and prayers are with AJ who's a total class act and should be the face of the Wiz (as opposed to a certain prima donna named Agent Zero who always puts his own agenda first).

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 3, 2008 2:14 PM

Well that was a fun 6 games the big 3 had together this season.

Posted by: Dude | April 3, 2008 2:15 PM

It seems to me that with 1.1 seconds on the clock, that Gilbert did the right thing. That's not enough time for Bogut to take the ball, think about a turn around jumper, kick the ball out to the corner, and have the guy shoot before the buzzer. Even with the clock starting late, the ball still barely got out of Sessions hand in time.

If I'm the Wizards, I want Bogut to pass the ball on that play every time. It worked out for them this time, but that's not the best percentage play for the Bucks in that situation.

Posted by: burke | April 3, 2008 2:18 PM

Somebody get Dr Connell on the phone quick so he can clear AJ before the next game.

Posted by: Dude | April 3, 2008 2:22 PM

I would say too, when I saw bogut pass the ball i figured game over. with 1.1 seconds left the inbound receiving play HAS to get the shot off, unless the player who passed in step right in and sets.

I was like oops, bogut didn't even get a shot off. And gil was taking away any chance for bogut to step back and fire. But then sessions got the shot off, and I was sure it wold be late, because there isn't enough time for all that to happen.

Sessions did shoot quickly, props for that, but I still don't think the sequence was possible.

I wouldn't mind allowing the refs to review, not only the shot clock but time discrepancies as well.

Posted by: g | April 3, 2008 2:25 PM

Good comments by Burke and Dude.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 2:28 PM

No time to waste! Someone tell Antawn to grab his running shoes and a much ballyhooed parachute quick! I can't call him myself because I already used up all of the anytime minutes Abe allows me on Gilbert this week.

Posted by: Dr Connell | April 3, 2008 2:44 PM

It's not like anyone on the team was playing defense last night, so blaming GA for not staying on Sessions is probably not worth the time. Same as blaming AD for not hustling or BTH for not being able to defende Bogut. It's one game. If we wind up in the 7th or 8th slot, we still have a shot at advancing as long as we play some defense.

Posted by: mark | April 3, 2008 2:46 PM

Ivan, why bother asking EJ about defensive schemes. Ask Ayers, he's the defensive coach!

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 2:52 PM

"Gilbert Arenas participated in today's workout which is a good sign given that he made his return to game action last night after missing 66 games with a left knee injury. He did not speak with reporters again today after also declining to speak before or after the game. The guy hasn't stopped saying/blogging things for weeks, told me and Mike Wise that he wasn't playing last night 24 hours earlier but then did and now he's silent. Strange yes. But, that's Gilbert."

Ivan, strange is not the word. Deliberate. Yes, that's the word. There's a purpose to every action. Drama sells, as we've all learned.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 2:53 PM

"No time to waste! Someone tell Antawn to grab his running shoes and a much ballyhooed parachute quick! I can't call him myself because I already used up all of the anytime minutes Abe allows me on Gilbert this week.

Posted by: Dr Connell | April 3, 2008 02:44 PM "

Why would AJ need the much ballyhooed parachute? AJ, in case you misread, hurt his shoulder, not his legs.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 2:56 PM

No, I know Antawn hurt his shoulder. I was joking.

Posted by: Dr Connell | April 3, 2008 2:59 PM

A sprained shoulder diagnosed by Marc Connell really means that AJ is close to amputation, and will be announced in about 4 weeks after extensive treatment to include acupuncture, electrolysis stimulation, and good ole fashioned flex all/ben gay/icy hot. I don't need a medical degree to be one step ahead of Marc Connell.

http://www.dcsportsmedicine.com/who/mc.asp

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 3:00 PM

"No, I know Antawn hurt his shoulder. I was joking.

Posted by: Dr Connell | April 3, 2008 02:59 PM "

It's only funny if the context is correct, but it 'twasn't.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 3:01 PM

WE COULD DWELL ON LAST NIGHT FOREVER,THE WHAT IFS? Time to move on and finish the season on a high note AJ will probably miss three maybe four games, time for everyone to step up and play hard the bench has played well of late and that should continue, enough of the negative comments about Gilbert a lot of you so called fans have short memories,lets remember what this franchise was like before Gilbert got here!!.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | April 3, 2008 3:02 PM

Tough, tough last few minutes...pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong. But a wise man once said, "Sh** happens," and we gotta go on from here. Maybe AJ missing some time means that Blatche gets the start at PF, which we know tends to lead to more production from him (kind of like Barbosa on Los Suns when he gets starter minutes?).

Liked what I saw from Gilby on the offensive side, wish I could say the same defensively, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt--besides, he is still a "sixth man" at the moment (although he could get the start at PG/SG tomorrow) and recovering from knee surgeries, plus he missed an entire season's worth of defense-oriented play. I hope the team rededicates itself to defense, or this year's another "one and done" in the playoffs.

Posted by: Crunkenstein | April 3, 2008 3:07 PM

It's only funny if the context is correct, but it 'twasn't.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 03:01 PM
-------------------------------------------
I'm very sorry, friend. By the way you misspelled wasn't. No big deal though.

Posted by: Dr Connell | April 3, 2008 3:07 PM

He had a fun time at his party last night though.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 3:15 PM

The wizards must be jinxed.They get one allstar back & lose another one.It would be nice to see the big three terrorize an opponent during the playoffs, which they are capable of doing when their players are healthy.But they have not been healthy since the allstar break last year.It is a testament to the coaching job done by Eddie Jordan that they have stayed competative while playing musical chairs with their stars.Is it the medical staff,training regiem,or the curse of les bullets that has haunted this franchise since the championship year?

Posted by: dcpirate1 | April 3, 2008 3:16 PM

I love how gilly can do no wrong. You people are to funny. Have fun being stuck in the mediocrity. 1st round and done every year Gilly is here and it will be the same thing if he signs

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 3:20 PM

"It seems to me that with 1.1 seconds on the clock, that Gilbert did the right thing. That's not enough time for Bogut to take the ball, think about a turn around jumper, kick the ball out to the corner, and have the guy shoot before the buzzer."

Burke that might be the dumbest comment I have ever read. Obviously it is enough time b/c it happened. Also I don't care what you think in no way did Gil make the right play. Having Bogut shoot a 14 foot fadeaway at the buzzer with a 7 footer on him would have been the ideal shot but Gil ruined that. Real surprise Gil messes up on D

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 3:24 PM

People i love the Wiz just as much as anyone else but Please take the home blinders off and be realistic. If fans of another teams read these comments they would laugh out loud....its ridiculous

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 3:27 PM

It will be really interesting to see how they plan on replacing Stevenson if he can't go in the next game after he played so many in a row. Randy Ayers is gonna be the one with the migraine if he has to watch a backcourt of Arenas and Young play most of the next game.

Posted by: Dude | April 3, 2008 3:30 PM

"1st round and done every year Gilly is here ..."

Uh ... you do know that they made it to the second round since he's been here? And that he didn't even play in the postseason last year?

Posted by: kalorama | April 3, 2008 3:32 PM

"I'm very sorry, friend. By the way you misspelled wasn't. No big deal though.

Posted by: Dr Connell | April 3, 2008 03:07 PM "

I intentionally mispelled "'twasn't."

Kind of a play on ""twas the night before Christmas....yada yada..."

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 3:35 PM

"Uh ... you do know that they made it to the second round since he's been here? And that he didn't even play in the postseason last year?

Posted by: kalorama | April 3, 2008 03:32 PM "

Great, and we needn't no mo' info that Gilby doesn't deserve max money.

* 2nd round playoffs with Larry. Haven't sniffed since.
* Lost to Lebron by missing free throws in 1st round.
* Didn't play in last season's playoffs because he got hurt just before the season ended, as the team was on a downward spiral and almost missed the playoffs.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 3:37 PM

I think Dr. Connell originally diagnosed Etan with acid reflux.

Posted by: Truthsayer | April 3, 2008 3:39 PM

Praise Christ Antawn has no structural damage.

Posted by: Soup's Uncle | April 3, 2008 3:41 PM

no. burke is right. 1.1 seconds is no time. that clock was messed up. doesn't matter anymore, but tis the case

Posted by: el duderino | April 3, 2008 3:42 PM

Burke, I disagree. You never bring the double team from the corner like that. That leaves an easy pass to the perimeter player. The double could come from the weak side, though, because the pass out would be more difficult. When you learn to play defense, you learn that if the ball is on your side of the court, you don't sag off. You play good denial defense on your man. Gilbert needed to stay put. I'll take my changes with Bogut trying to make a turn around over Haywood from 12 feet out, rather than have a guard shoot a wide open 3-pointer from the corner. It was a bad defensive play.

And DCMan, give me a break. You're going to jump on someone now for making an innocuous joke? That's petty, considering you provided a pretty lame play on words yourself. (Yep, I insulted your little clever word play. It was hypocritical. But I figured hypocrisy was something you might understand.)

Posted by: Colin | April 3, 2008 3:42 PM

Fellow bloggers we're wasting a lot of time on the last play when the Wiz should have put away the mediocre Bucks much earlier in the 2nd half. As Phil Chenier pointed out multiple times during and after the game, the Wiz needed to stretch out their lead and put the game away by playing some good defense. We allowed a sub-.500 team to shoot almost 55%!!!! The fact we were up 10 in the 4th and their two best shooters (Redd and Moe Williams) were on the bench was an indication that the Bucks were ready to cave. We've been lacking a killer instinct for 3+ years and now we've got injuries to AJ and DSS that should never have occured if the game was out of reach. Can't blame it on how we defended one final play for 1.1 seconds.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 3, 2008 3:46 PM

"I think Dr. Connell originally diagnosed Etan with acid reflux.

Posted by: Truthsayer | April 3, 2008 03:39 PM "


I think Marc Connell has been giving Eddie some Predator gene therapy for his sinus problem.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/uploads/multimedia/stills/thumbs/488.gif

http://amcop.blogspot.com/PREDATOR.jpg

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 3:46 PM

"And DCMan, give me a break. You're going to jump on someone now for making an innocuous joke? That's petty, considering you provided a pretty lame play on words yourself. (Yep, I insulted your little clever word play. It was hypocritical. But I figured hypocrisy was something you might understand.)

Posted by: Colin | April 3, 2008 03:42 PM "

Sure Colon, but not as good as Gilby understands that word, or does he?

Here's Gilby looking like he's had some bad shrimp. Hibachi wasn't hot enough.

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2007/0213/nba_a_arenas_195.jpg

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 3:52 PM

If the damn fans would have stayed in their premium seats, they would have been their to brace AJ and prevent the bad/awkward fall into the second row off the raised platform.

Weak.

Posted by: slim charles | April 3, 2008 4:01 PM

Well said, wizfan89. This game wasn't lost on the last play. It was lost well before that.

Posted by: kalorama | April 3, 2008 4:01 PM

Well, as mentioned in Ivan's report, when Gilby came into the game towards the end of the 4th quarter, that's when the Bucks went on their 10-0 run. It all culminated with Gilby leaving Sessions alone to double team a big man who had his back turned and was 18 ft. from the basket.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 4:11 PM

I would have stayed with my man on that last play, but after making those two apparently game-winning free throws, I knew DC Mango desperately needed something to criticize me about.

Posted by: Gilby | April 3, 2008 4:16 PM

"I would have stayed with my man on that last play, but after making those two apparently game-winning free throws, I knew DC Mango desperately needed something to criticize me about.

Posted by: Gilby | April 3, 2008 04:16 PM "

Brilliant way to justify max money!

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 4:19 PM

Gil shouldn't have come off his man sitting out on the wing, and he shouldn't have tried that second-tolast-offensive-possession iso either. That was another play when I thought "what is Eddie doing with him in there"? I could kind of understand the reasoning on the offensive end: if you want Gil to take clutch winning shots in the playoffs you gotta let him take a few in the regular season, and here's a chance staring you in the face. And he did get the two free throws on the last possession. But substituting Gil defensively when Deshawn went down was really a bad idea. Even healthy, Gil has no business being inserted for a one-possession stop with 1.1 second remaining. Costly mistake.

Posted by: Prazak | April 3, 2008 4:23 PM

http://www.dcsportsmedicine.com/who/mc.asp

Dr Connell was the one who diagnosed Eddie with a migraine yesterday. Pray for Eddie.

Posted by: Dude | April 3, 2008 4:25 PM

Marc Connell is an orthopedic surgeon with a focus on sports medicine. WTF does he know about sinus headaches?

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 4:32 PM

Ummm, I was going along with the other Dr Connell jokes. Why would Eddie need a diagnosis for a migraine in the first place? Lighten up.

Posted by: Dude | April 3, 2008 4:34 PM

People i love the Wiz just as much as anyone else but Please take the home blinders off and be realistic.

Posted by: Beas | April 3, 2008 03:27 PM

Not really sure who has the blinders on. This team is so good without Arenas that we struggle to stay above .500 and out of the 7th spot in the eastern conference. No doubt that trading away Gilbert Arenas and continuing on that .500 pace is the answer for the Wiz.

And Arenas did hit the buzzer-beating game-winning shot in Chicago to send us to the second round of the playoffs, so it isn't "one and done" with Arenas year after year. If I'm not mistaken, without Arenas we got swept last year without even a sniff of being able to compete against the Cavs.

Someone else needs "to take the blinders off," and realize that this team is better with Arenas, not without him.

Posted by: psps23 | April 3, 2008 4:45 PM

"An MRI exam taken today revealed no structural damage to the shoulder and Jamison is officially listed as doubtful for tomorrow night's game against the Heat."

Thank God...literally.

"I love how gilly can do no wrong."

Yep that loss was ALL Arenas's fault, no one elses. :P

Same kind of blogger that says "Yeah man, Gil is great!" if the Wiz win. It's just one game everyone, chill.

Personally, I'm more concerned about injuries at this point.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | April 3, 2008 5:15 PM

I love how DCMan doesn't understand that the "t" in 'twas takes the place of the word "it" but he thinks he understands everything about the Wizards.

Posted by: JE | April 3, 2008 7:25 PM

"I'm very sorry, friend. By the way you misspelled wasn't. No big deal though.

Posted by: Dr Connell | April 3, 2008 03:07 PM "

I intentionally mispelled "'twasn't."

Kind of a play on ""twas the night before Christmas....yada yada..."

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 03:35 PM

"it 'twasn't" is redundant, genius.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 7:46 PM

dc 88 idiot is a MORAN

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 7:59 PM

why are ya'll gettin on Gilbert so much, if Antonio had ran to the ball instead of jogging the game would have been over anyways

Posted by: Rick James | April 3, 2008 8:46 PM

"He wanted to make his grand entrance and he had his time," Brendan Haywood said. "Now it's time to get back to business."

Go Haywood. Like this quote!

Besides the fact that it should have never gotten to the last play and that last play is not possible in 1 second, EJ had no business inserting GA in the game instead of RM on defense. Thanks for pointing that out Ivan! In the midst of all the injuries and chaos at the end, I missed it. That is one of the stupider things EJ's done all season. COTY!!!

Ummm, oh DARGREG, so since we've made the playoffs the past 3 yrs (not done much in them) and we were really bad before, your willing to give GA a free pass on any and everything he does? I don't get it. I don't dislike like GA at all, but I am getting sick of the "oh, it's just GA" to explain away his behavior, which a lot of it is pretty selfish and non-team oriented. Plus, he is a one dimensional player on the court albeit a very dynamic one dimensional player. So, I just don't know about letting this erratic injury prone guy hijacking the franchise. He will be in charge with a max contract ala Bryant in LA and he does not even have those credentials!

Posted by: Rob P | April 3, 2008 9:02 PM

By the way, the guy obviously got the ball off in time. But I happened to have DVR'd the game and the clock did not move until Bogut had already released the pass. And as far as what Arenas should have done, I can say this for sure, Bogut had no shot. Not even sure he could have gotten off the shot in time much less make it. He was not in a good shooting position whatsoever and turnarounds are time consuming shots especially ones attempted by centers!

Plus, nobody has brought this up. No ball pressure??? If that were us, we would have been hard pressed to inbound the ball, much less get a wide open shot from the corner.
Do not like our last minute plays and defense whatsoever. It's been bad all year and cost us games!

Posted by: Rob P | April 3, 2008 9:21 PM

THE CURSE OF LE BULLET

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 9:23 PM

"I love how DCMan doesn't understand that the "t" in 'twas takes the place of the word "it" but he thinks he understands everything about the Wizards.

Posted by: JE | April 3, 2008 07:25 PM "

I love how Gilby lovers on this blog are spending their time and effort trying to get on my case about how I use words.

I guess to them, grammar is more important than a choking dog loss to a 25-48 team, at home, where the Bucks went on a 10-0 run after Gilby checked in with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter, who then proceeded to make a boneheaded defensive play which cost Les BouleS the game.

Backbreaker!!!

LMAO!!!!

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 10:00 PM

Tony Kornheiser (PTI): Gilby is a drama queen and is uncoachable. He's a delight to cover (by the press, b/c he gives us open access.)

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 10:16 PM

You know, pointing out your grammar mistakes only takes about 2 minutes. It's not like some thesis we have to read through to find all the weak points. I know it's hard to understand for you, but people with normal cognitive abilities CAN do more than 1 thing. And not everyone has an idiotic post to put on the board that has nothing to do with the subject at hand like you. Anyways...

I think most people are jumping the gun on this. Gil just came back from an injury! At least give him a couple of games to acclimate himself to game-speed and learn Ayers' system. If, by the end of the season/post-season he still doesn't get it, then maybe it's time to consider other options, but until then I don't understand why people insist he has to go. Nothing has been proven yet, one way or the other.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 10:19 PM

Anon, I don't fault Gil for playing bad defense, I fault Eddie for having him in on that last defensive sequence.

And how about that quote from Brendan "now it's time to get back to business" Haywood? Playin' all soft last night against the young Aussie but now he's all about business.

Posted by: Prazak | April 3, 2008 10:30 PM

Your argument about giving Gilby more time is not only weak, but ludicrous. Gilby doesn't play defense to begin with, and now you're saying he needs "a few games to acclimate himself to game speed and learn Ayer's system?" How many games are left in this season? How many minutes is Gilby getting/game to "acclimate himsemf?"

Get a f'n clue....you got to be f'n kidding.

You obviously need to take an introspective look at how ridiculously stupid and weak your opinions are before you criticize others. Also, it's clear why you post without a name. I would too if I were you.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 10:34 PM

"Even healthy, Gil has no business being inserted for a one-possession stop with 1.1 second remaining. Costly mistake.

Posted by: Prazak | April 3, 2008 04:23 PM "

And the nerve someone had last week trying to compare Gilby with Kobe.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 10:36 PM

From reading 88's posts, you'd think that GA was the only Wizard who screwed up on defense at the end. If AD hadn't taken such a leisurely route to that loose ball that Jamison wrecked his shoulder tipping to him, Sessions wouldn't have gotten a chance to call a timeout and the Bucks wouldn't even have been in a position to get that last shot. The whole team, except maybe DS, played uncharacteristically crappy defense throughout. The way to crush a struggling team like the Bucks is to lock down on them and keep them from getting into an offensive rhythm, so that they take bad shots and turn the ball over. Instead, the Wizards let them spread the floor and didn't close out on perimeter shooters. You can't do that a D-Leaguer like Sessons, let alone against Michael Redd and Mo Williams.

Posted by: John Brisker | April 3, 2008 11:33 PM

Brisky, I think you missed my earlier post where I said Gilby had a decent looking shot and did what he could offensively. On the defensive end you can't expect anything from Gilby, and it showed, as the Bucks went on their run when he entered the game, and Gilby made a boneheaded decision that gave Sessions an open look at the basket. Ivan reported it as such also.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 11:39 PM

I intentionally mispelled "'twasn't."

Kind of a play on ""twas the night before Christmas....yada yada..."

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 03:35 PM
-------------------------------------------
Oh, okay.

Posted by: Dr Connell | April 3, 2008 11:46 PM

"You obviously need to take an introspective look at how ridiculously stupid and weak your opinions are before you criticize others. Also, it's clear why you post without a name. I would too if I were you.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 3, 2008 10:34 PM "

Opinions are opinions. The only way they could be weak is if I didn't hold onto them strongly. And I very much believe you are an idiot. And I remember people saying that about Jamison (not playing D), but he started to surprise some people before the team-wide slide these past few weeks. I'm not saying Gilbert shouldn't improve, I'm saying that all the people harping about his poor defense from that last game against the Bucks are over-reacting, especially considering the fact that the WHOLE TEAM needs to improve defensively, not just Gil. Gil isn't the savior to this team, just a piece of the puzzle to help us move forward. If he doesn't fit, then maybe find another. But we won't know about that until later. For now, all we know is that with him in the lineup, we were one of the best in the East and went further in the playoffs than we had in years. We haven't seen just how far we can go yet.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2008 12:11 AM

"For now, all we know is that with him in the lineup, we were one of the best in the East and went further in the playoffs than we had in years. We haven't seen just how far we can go yet.

Posted by: | April 4, 2008 12:11 AM "

I'm glad that's so comforting to you. Hold on to it tight when you go to bed at night, because your hero will break your heart if he leaves this summer.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 12:14 AM

BTW, before you overwhelm yourself with thoughts of Gilby and his great accomplishments with Les BouleS in the playoffs....here's the reality:

04-05: Les BouleS (not just Gilby) beat Chicago in the first round. Larry was on the team too. See link below and you will discover that Larry made a huge contribution in the series. Then Les BouleS get swept by Miami. Haven't sniffed 2nd round since Larry left.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/schedule?team=was&year=2005

05-06: Les BouleS lose to Cleveland after Gilby chokes on 3 straight free throws. Playoffs end.

06-07: Les BouleS in a downward spiral right before Gilby goes out with a knee injury. Les BouleS get swept by Cleveland.

And here's the "shocker" to you. Gilby has missed about 68 games this season, and Les BouleS will make the playoffs ANYWAY!!! 5TH seed if season ends today.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 12:26 AM

Our defensive rotations were awful last night. Gilby was a defensive liability prior to the injury, he is god awful now. We're hopeless come playoff time. Bogut looked like a 24 yr old Shaq last night. Gilby was -8 in the -/+ category last night. Most of the wizards. He had 4 turnovers in 19 minutes. We had a ton of turnovers. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: Justin Greger | April 4, 2008 12:32 AM

God, there's no point in "debating" with you. You just bring up the same tired points over and over again. Yea Larry made a huge contribution. He's a player capable of stepping up his game, like he showed tonight. So? Who said Gil did it all? The point was that Gil hasn't held the team back so far; in fact, with him on the team they've gone farther than they have in a long time. That's not from Gil alone. And with the continued development of Caron and Jamison's continued steadiness, we can go farther. Also, Songalia and Stevenson are playing much better and more confident ball, which they were sorely lacking last year. The slide last year doesn't mean Gil stinks; it means the team stunk. And they did. This year, the WHOLE TEAM has shown great improvement. Like I said, a piece of the puzzle.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2008 2:27 AM

And the post above me? At least that has info relevant to current times. Yea, he did have a horrible defensive game. But what connection are you making with the team having lots of turnovers and Gil having 4 turnovers? That the presence of Gil caused the rest of the team to just become sloppy?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2008 2:32 AM

The presence of Gilbert will not by itself cause the rest of the team to play worse defense or make more turnovers over the long run... but last night it probably did, due to the "atmospherics" of the occasion (BTH got it right) and the general need of the team to readjust itself to having GA on the court.

Time will tell, and it is a short time indeed... within a month the Wizards will know a lot more about themselves and we will probably all need some antiacids.

Posted by: khrabb | April 4, 2008 4:16 AM

I don't get the argument that people keep throwing out about how Gilbert has only been to the 2nd round once, so the Wizards should get rid of him. Thats up to the whole team to get to the 2nd round. I'm not attacking anyone who has argued that the past couple of days, I just think that is a baseless arguement. Even if that was true, what player are the Wizards gonna get in return that is in his prime, has no injury issues, and has a better playoff resume than Gilbert? Someone suggested that we let Gilbert walk and get nothing in return so we can rebuild around Butler. Thats great for the 60 games that he'll actually play in, but what's the plan in the other 22 games when he's injured? Even if he did stay healthy, Caron has been to the 2nd round only once also, so he can't be all that great, right? And he was a solid player, but that Heat team was led by Eddie Jones and some rookie named Dwayne Wade. They also played an awful Hornets team with Baron Davis and nothing else in the 1st round. Another name I have heard is Elton Brand. Even if Ernie pulled off that sign & trade (which would be very difficult), Brand has only been to the playoffs once in his entire career, so he REALLY sucks. Oh and he also has a bum knee. Deciding a players worth on just looking at playoff success is how Kevin Garnett got devalued. How many years did people say he can't be that good because he couldn't get his team to the playoffs? Now all those people are putting him in the MVP race. While we are all in sign & trade Fantasyland, why don't the Wizards just trade Gilbert for Duncan or Kobe? Those guys have been to the 2nd round many times.

Posted by: Dude | April 4, 2008 7:37 AM

Boy, I can't wait til the next win so we can stop entertaining the "anti-gil no matter what he does" posts.
Anon, some folks (one in particular) will never give GA his due no matter what he does and there IS no reasoning with them. Like some folks have said, it's only one game and it's his first game back.
Also, as much as I like BTH's game, this was probably not the right time to make any comments about GA. If he'd been defending Bogut well at all, GA might not have felt compelled to double down. Sessions was 3-5 at the time and Bogut was 8-12. I think Bogut was probably 8-8 on Haywood. There's only one guy on this team who should open their mouth at all when it comes to talking badly about a teammate. AJ is the captain, a veteran who's been in the league for a while and an all star. When it comes to criticism, every other player should STFU. Until CB plays 70 games or so without getting hurt or GA comes back fully, neither of them should be saying anything to the media either. Criticizing each other privately is one thing but making derogatory comments to the media is counterproductive.

Posted by: mark | April 4, 2008 7:42 AM

psp23 is a chugger

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2008 8:52 AM

Yes i realize gilly hit a lucky shot to beat a college team and make it to the 2nd round 3 years ago when we had a different team and the east was soft as pudding. Now with Detroit/celtics/magic and cavs if we resign gilly it will be one and done just like it has been every other year. Getting swept in the 2nd round is the same as losing in the 1st round to me anyways.

Posted by: Beas | April 4, 2008 8:55 AM

Gilby was -8 in the -/+ category last night


Get used to stats like that now that Gilbert is back.

Like I have stated many times before sure he scores 28+ a night but he also is responsible for 30 or more points for the other team. GILBERT IS THE MOST OVERATED PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE!!!

Posted by: Beas | April 4, 2008 9:02 AM

I'm very glad Arenas is back! He has returned and we are now ready for our playoff push! I'm glad Jamison is ok, one game out vs the Heat is no big deal and he can use the rest anyway. We still got a frontcourt of Haywood, Blatche and Butler to throw at Miami. We finally got our full G rotation with Arenas, AD, Stevenson, Mason and Young.

What's up with Etan? It would be nice to have him in the playoffs, if only for the extra body and fouls, and for some depth at center in case anyone gets hurt or fouls out.

Posted by: Darnell | April 4, 2008 9:09 AM

"Also, as much as I like BTH's game, this was probably not the right time to make any comments about GA. If he'd been defending Bogut well at all, GA might not have felt compelled to double down. Sessions was 3-5 at the time and Bogut was 8-12. I think Bogut was probably 8-8 on Haywood. There's only one guy on this team who should open their mouth at all when it comes to talking badly about a teammate. AJ is the captain, a veteran who's been in the league for a while and an all star. When it comes to criticism, every other player should STFU. Until CB plays 70 games or so without getting hurt or GA comes back fully, neither of them should be saying anything to the media either. Criticizing each other privately is one thing but making derogatory comments to the media is counterproductive.

Posted by: mark | April 4, 2008 07:42 AM "

Don't diss BTH. It was BTH who was assigned to help double Gilby's man almost every time Gilby was on the court, leaving Bogut wide open or with good looks. Of course, none of this can be found in stats.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 9:24 AM

"And the post above me? At least that has info relevant to current times. Yea, he did have a horrible defensive game. But what connection are you making with the team having lots of turnovers and Gil having 4 turnovers? That the presence of Gil caused the rest of the team to just become sloppy?

Posted by: | April 4, 2008 02:32 AM "

Obviously you have no concept of what a team game is.

When you have a player who's been out 68 games, and is suddenly inserted into the lineup, that causes other players to be taken from their comfort zone and who must adapt to this new dude who is 2 steps slow and who usually hogs the ball.

It wasn't long ago (last season) that many of Gilby's teammates were relegated to observers while Gilby dominated the ball as he took shot after shot, sometimes without even passing.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 9:27 AM

Beas, you must have missed out on the Steve Colter/Brent Price/Frank Johnson/Darrell Walker/Ennis Whatley years. GA is arguably the best guard we've ever had in Washington. D.A. Rod Strickland had a great year but that's about it since Jeff Malone. We've taken the playoffs for granted lately but just getting there was a chore for us for quite a while.
If you look at the Lenovo stats, it should show you the +/- stuff. Based on those, DS is the weakest link. Gil may give up points but he almost always scores more than he gives up.
College team ? LOL ! I hate the Bulls, too but they were pretty decent that year.

Posted by: mark | April 4, 2008 9:29 AM

I know everyone here is proud of these Wizards (without Gil). They play hard. They play defense. They play team ball. It's great to see a team with the values we all respect. In the end, even with all that team play and great defense, we're still an average team in the league. We're nowhere near the Celtics or Pistons, let alone the Magic or Cavs. Whether you want to realize it or not, the ONLY chance this team has of being able to beat all of those teams in a 7 game series is with Arenas on the court. Butler works his @ss off, Jamison is a class act, but Arenas is by far the most talented player on the team. It's not even close. Believing that the Wizards can be true contenders without Arenas is like believing that the 76ers are true contenders without Iverson. If you think either the 76ers or the Wizards can truly be contenders without a superstar like Arenas/Iverson, then you're dreaming.

It's completely ridiculous that any of you think his 1st game back after missing 66 straight is an final indication of his total ability. Jamison was a HORRID defender the last couple years before Ayers, now there isn't a bad thing to say about him. I'll admit 8 games is cutting it close, very close, but the Wiz have no other shot. They have to give Gil the time to at least attempt to get back into the swing of things.

Posted by: psps23 | April 4, 2008 9:30 AM

"I know everyone here is proud of these Wizards (without Gil). They play hard. They play defense. They play team ball. It's great to see a team with the values we all respect. In the end, even with all that team play and great defense, we're still an average team in the league. We're nowhere near the Celtics or Pistons, let alone the Magic or Cavs. Whether you want to realize it or not, the ONLY chance this team has of being able to beat all of those teams in a 7 game series is with Arenas on the court. Butler works his @ss off, Jamison is a class act, but Arenas is by far the most talented player on the team. It's not even close. Believing that the Wizards can be true contenders without Arenas is like believing that the 76ers are true contenders without Iverson. If you think either the 76ers or the Wizards can truly be contenders without a superstar like Arenas/Iverson, then you're dreaming.

Posted by: psps23 | April 4, 2008 09:30 AM "

Please, don't overemphasize Gilby. He does a good enough job on his own.

Given that, the success of this team beyond mediocrity relies on 3 individuals. Of course, they are Caron, AJ, and Gilby. Without any one of these players, the team is great on some days, bad on a lot of days.

How did this team fare last season when Caron was out with an injured hand? Uhhh, not so good. In fact, really bad.

How did this team fare this season with Caron and AJ, sans Gilby? Easily above .500, but still in a mediocre east coast.

Gilby is not the key to this team. All 3 individuals are important, but it's clear that Gilby needs to pick up his defensive game and share the ball, because it takes away from everyone else.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 9:47 AM

Agree with psps23's post on the team. No way we can beat either Cleveland or Orlando in the 1st round without GA in the lineup (even if's coming off the bench). He may currently be a defensive liability but that should improve along with him timing and lateral movement with more games under his belt. Let's just hope that 8 regular season games is enough and that AJ's shoulder is healed by next week since we'll need both of them to have any shot in a playoff series.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 4, 2008 9:50 AM

what psps23 said.

Posted by: mark | April 4, 2008 9:50 AM

Tonight's game against Miami should be cake. DWade out, Shawn Marion out for the rest of the season, etc.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 9:55 AM

"Agree with psps23's post on the team. No way we can beat either Cleveland or Orlando in the 1st round without GA in the lineup (even if's coming off the bench). He may currently be a defensive liability but that should improve along with him timing and lateral movement with more games under his belt. Let's just hope that 8 regular season games is enough and that AJ's shoulder is healed by next week since we'll need both of them to have any shot in a playoff series.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 4, 2008 09:50 AM "

Yeah, and no way can Les BouleS beat Cleveland or Orlando without AJ in the lineup. Hopefully AJ gets back healthy soon.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 9:56 AM

Gilby is not the key to this team. All 3 individuals are important, but it's clear that Gilby needs to pick up his defensive game and share the ball, because it takes away from everyone else.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 09:47 AM

Completely agree with you there. All 3 are equally as important, and all 3 are needed to take this team to the next level. But seeing as how Arenas was the one missing from this season, his ability to work himself back into shape and into the team's chemistry IS a key to our postseason success. Of course, now we also have to add on Jamison's shoulder too. Hopefully everything will be able to come together at the right time.

Posted by: psps23 | April 4, 2008 10:16 AM

"Completely agree with you there. All 3 are equally as important, and all 3 are needed to take this team to the next level. But seeing as how Arenas was the one missing from this season, his ability to work himself back into shape and into the team's chemistry IS a key to our postseason success. Of course, now we also have to add on Jamison's shoulder too. Hopefully everything will be able to come together at the right time.

Posted by: psps23 | April 4, 2008 10:16 AM "

Les BouleS fans can only hope that this push in the final games and into the playoffs don't turn into a Gilby exhibition show where he hits 40 each game, but the team gets swept or beaten anyway.

For Gilby's value in the FA market, he's got to prove that he's still has the ability to score in bunches, but unfortunately, that could come at the detriment of the team. It'll be interesting to see how things play out over the next few weeks.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 10:23 AM

Agree with psps23, dude and mark (and all of the posts that are reasonable regarding Gilbert). For the life of me why would anyone expect him to come back after 2 surgeries, not fully back in shape, out most of the season, and not make a mistake or 2. The rest of the team (which I'm not bashing) have lost to d-leaugers (the Cleveland game before the new personnel). Also, all of this drama over Gil's "so called drama".... Clinton Portis dressed as S.E. Gerome, the Sheriff, and all and the fans loved it, and the media...(I dont see Gil doing that). Gil brings a little personality to this team and national attention. And yes, he took us finally to the playoffs after years of only dreaming of them!

Posted by: washingtonian | April 4, 2008 10:40 AM

Slim Charles, love your name, Man! I named my dog Slim Charles. He is tall, dark and handsome, too. I miss The Wire! boo hoooooooo

Rick James is posting here, too?? What a star-studded blog we have!

Posted by: Frosty Freeze | April 4, 2008 10:41 AM

"College team ? LOL ! I hate the Bulls, too but they were pretty decent that year."


Mark look at the roster that year they were mainly 1st and 2nd year guys who all left college early or didn't go to college at all. Heinrich, gordon, deng, curry, chandler, duhon.

Posted by: Beas | April 4, 2008 10:45 AM

Im just happy the wizards and the NBA are promoting Caron!! The Gilbert/black hole days are over.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2008 10:47 AM

My observations from last seasons and this season, have led me to this. With AD running the show the Wizards play a more controlled tempo type of game, that has them running their sets and getting the ball to the open man. (Sharing) This controlled tempo allows them to get back on defense and get aligned. AD does not gamble on defense, which does not leave the big men in compromising positions. This style of play accentuates BTH skills sets.

Under GA, the Wizards barely run any offensive sets, because GA pushes the ball up court quicker than AD, leading to more fast break opportunities. Therefore, it often leads to the Wizards not being set on the defensive end. Also, GA gambles too much on defense, often leaving a man open for an easy shot, or causing a big man to be left in a compromising position. Against the Bucks they were an uninspired group on the defensive end because they looked confused on the offensive end and uninspired to GA presence. I only hope that they will get it together in time for the playoffs!!!!!!!

Posted by: bullets_0000 | April 4, 2008 10:55 AM

I was just reviewing the games left for the Wizards, Raptors and the Sixers and it seems that the Wiz have the toughest schedule. With 7 games left, I'm predicting 3 - 3 and 1 undecided. The game at Detriot is the undecided game. They have been resting their starters lately but playing on the road without the starters are always a death trap for the Wiz. This game along with the one with Philly I think are the ones that will decide if they will be the 5th or the 7th seed.

Posted by: Fortune Teller | April 4, 2008 11:12 AM

"Clinton Portis dressed as S.E. Gerome, the Sheriff, and all and the fans loved it, and the media...(I dont see Gil doing that). Gil brings a little personality to this team and national attention. And yes, he took us finally to the playoffs after years of only dreaming of them!

Posted by: washingtonian | April 4, 2008 10:40 AM "

Uhh, Clinton Portis does his schtick to be goofy and to be fun.

Gilby does his schtick because as he puts it, "drama sells." Gilby is trying to profit off his schtick, which means he has a financial motive to everything that he does. I don't blame him for trying to make another buck, but he's not genuine, so let's not pretend that he is.

And, BTW, Caron and AJ and Larry also took Les BouleS to the playoffs, not just Gilby.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 11:13 AM

Good analysis by bullets_0000.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 11:14 AM

Great post bullets_0000. I don't see gil getting it together we will be one and done again.

Posted by: beas13 | April 4, 2008 11:40 AM

My real name is Clewiston. I loved the Miami Heat but since they are the worst team in the NBA, I troll on the Wizards board all day long.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 11:41 AM

I will bet anyone Chris Quinn has a career night tnt against Gil.

Posted by: beas13 | April 4, 2008 11:43 AM

Chris Quinn's career high is 22 points. Oh and that 22 points came on December 13th against the Wizards when Gilbert wasn't playing, so whoever was guarding him that game didn't exactly do a stellar job either.

Posted by: Dude | April 4, 2008 12:09 PM

I stand corrected, Quinn scored 24 against the Bucks in late March.

Posted by: Dude | April 4, 2008 12:12 PM

Good point, though Dude. AD is great as a backup but he gets torched regularly.
Beas, I'd forgotten how young that Bulls team was. It was still a great shot in a clutch situation, though.
One thing some folks here forget also is that if GA hadn't made a move, gotten fouled AND made the free throws, it wouldn't have been our game to lose. I've seen our guys not even get a decent shot off during critical times in the past.
bullets_0000, I definitely agree with some of your stuff. AD is a slower paced guy and it helps the offense get set up better because we are then forced to go through our offensive sets. Because I haven't seen GA yet in this defense, it's hard to say what he's like. Before this year, I used to just kill AJ for being one of the worst defensive players in the league. This year, he's been better. Until GA gets his legs back, I'm not going to assume that he's the same gambling player that he (with Larry Hughes) was in previous seasons. BTW, Caron gambles as much as any player in the league. Seems like GA gets a lot of criticism about his lack of defense when, in fact, we have probably 2 players who above average... DS and BTH. Everybody else is average and needs to get better.
I keep going back to the Olympic trials where I saw GA playing the way alot of ppl here want him to play. He was pressuring the ball, fighting through screens and driving and dishing. What did it get him ? Cut. What did it get us? An internaioonal a@@ whipping. It's not hard to see why he would be reluctant to drastically change his game when what he's done so far has netted him 3 all star games and a huge contracts Human nature. Personally, I expect him to be better defender when he's fully healthy again, though. Let's see.

Posted by: mark | April 4, 2008 12:29 PM

I'm a troll and I like to post using other people's names because I'm too cowardly to stand behind anything, unless it's Gilbert Arenas and he dropped the soap.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2008 12:30 PM

"Good point, though Dude. AD is great as a backup but he gets torched regularly.

Posted by: mark | April 4, 2008 12:29 PM "

Let's not try to compare the expectations of a "franchise max money wannabe" starting 1 guard vs. a backup 1 guard.

Gilby makes 12 mil this season. AD makes 5.8 mil. More is expected on both ends of the court if you get paid more.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 12:34 PM

"BTW, Caron gambles as much as any player in the league. Seems like GA gets a lot of criticism about his lack of defense when, in fact, we have probably 2 players who above average... DS and BTH."

What Caron brings is defensive toughness and physicality, both absent from Gilby. That's why Caron is called "tough juice," while Gilby is called "diva."

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 12:38 PM

GA is called 'diva' by Tom Knott and you. Both seem to have an agenda that don't involve the game of basketball. Knott is sarcastic on purpose to sell papers. You, ...???
CB is NOT physical on defense. That's a fallacy. He's undersized and gets muscled by most SF's who want to play down low. His reputation for toughness is probably because of the no nonsense attitude, his rough upbringing and his offensive game. When it comes to defense, CB may look the part but the truth is that he's not been much better than GA if he's been better at all....and i'm a huge CB fan.

Posted by: mark | April 4, 2008 12:53 PM

I guess in mark's world, having a delayed grand entrance while your team is busy trying to win a game doesn't make you a diva.

Or, you're definitely not a diva if you throw a hissy fit when the doctor says you should wait a week, so you storm out of the locker room saying you won't wear the uniform again this season and then write that you comtemplated suicide while driving home.

Or, you're definitely not a diva if you refuse to shoot in a game because one of your teammates calls you a ball hog.

Or, you're definitely not a diva if you say you threw your jersey onto the court and wanted people to climb over each other just to grab at your jersey, but was disappointed when no one did.

Oh, none of that makes a diva.

BTW, Tony Kornheiser calls Gilby a diva also. He should know, b/c he's a diva himself.

mark needs to keep in mind that in the NBA, there are few to none shut down defenders. As I said before, Caron brings defensive toughness and physicality, which mark proceeded to repeat to me in a roundabout way. Caron does not shy away from mixing it up. Gilby does.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 1:04 PM

""He made his grand entrance and he had his time," center Brendan Haywood said. "Now it's time to get back to business.""

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/03/AR2008040304343.html

What a great quote for the week.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 1:06 PM

Spot on Analysis:

"Randy Ayers, who was hired in the offseason, has received a good amount of credit for improving the Wizards' defense. But perhaps the best thing that ever happened to the Wizards defensively was the shelving of Arenas.

In his absence, the Wizards adopted the tough-guy personality of Caron Butler, who will stick his nose anywhere in pursuit of the ball. That was Butler going to the floor to cause the jump ball in the waning seconds.

Yet as soon as Arenas walked onto the floor, it was as if something clicked in the heads of the Wizards and they channeled the team that is always looking to outscore opponents.

It undoubtedly is fun to race up and down the court. With the Wizards, it is good for fortysomething wins a season. But in the playoffs, it is a style that leads to disappointment.

Perhaps Arenas truly wants to play defense but just cannot do it physically. If so, it would be a first. As it is, his capacity to move laterally appears limited and he serves no grand purpose other than as a glorified spot-up shooter.

It also is long past time for the Wizards to drop the Gilbert-being-Gilbert line because until he does something in the playoffs besides defeat the Bulls in one playoff series, he is more World B. Free than Walt Frazier and does not merit unlimited latitude.

Yes, Arenas is a fun-loving guy with a generally upbeat personality. But he has certain obligations to the organization, starting with letting the coaches know he was planning to play against the Bucks.

What kind of message does that send to the rest of the players?

Oh, forgot. That is merely Gilbert being Gilbert.

He wanted his return to be a big secret. He wanted to make a grand entrance.

So as he made his way to the bench in the first quarter, he was Moses parting the Red Sea. Forget the game in progress. The franchise savior was back, only the savior could not prevent the Wizards from being embarrassed at home.

Worse, Arenas contributed to the loss in a big way, with a mental error that defied explanation, which perhaps explains why he has not spoken to the media since the blunder.

One of the wags in Tony Cheng's neighborhood yesterday took to imagining how Jerry Sloan might have responded to a player's lack of communication.

At a minimum, Sloan would have cussed out the player and sent him back to the locker room. Maybe Sloan would have challenged the player to a fight. Either way, it would not have been pretty.

The tough-love approach is often beneficial to players. With taskmaster Sloan raging in his ear, Deron Williams has developed into one of the top point guards in the NBA.

It is no secret the organization has made a habit out of coddling Arenas, even to the point of undercutting Eddie Jordan's authority, because it might not be wise to offend the three-time All-Star.

Arenas is the face of the franchise, he puts fannies in the seats and he is opting out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. It promises to be fraught with intrigue and big, bold headlines, if only because Arenas would have it no other way.

He will be signing with Mars one day and offering to play for free the next.

None of it will mean a thing until an announcement is made.

Otherwise, no one with the organization is inclined to address the sideshow that is Arenas.

Mike O'Koren, who ran practice yesterday because of Jordan's sinus infection, dismissed the suggestion of Arenas being a distraction to the team in the last game.

DeShawn Stevenson did the same.

"I think everyone expects that from him," Stevenson said.

Everyone expects it, and Arenas does his best not to disappoint, even if it is counterproductive to the team's cause."

http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080404/SPORTS05/404483595/1005/SPORTS

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 1:16 PM

spot on, except for the fact that it's completely embellished and biased.

"It undoubtedly is fun to race up and down the court. With the Wizards, it is good for fortysomething wins a season. But in the playoffs, it is a style that leads to disappointment."

Umm, how many wins do the Wizards have this season without Arenas? How is this tough-guy, defensive-minded, conservative approach make the Wiz BETTER than the 40-something wins Arenas brings?

"Worse, Arenas contributed to the loss in a big way, with a mental error that defied explanation,"

Yea, except that Arenas' primary replacement was the one most at blame for the loss. If Arenas was the one who was outhustled and beaten downcourt for one of the easiest plays of the season, he would be crucified right now. Ignoring Daniels' lack of hustle and awareness on that last play is the epitome of how badly people want to blame Arenas for any Wizards shortcoming.

"Yet as soon as Arenas walked onto the floor, it was as if something clicked in the heads of the Wizards and they channeled the team that is always looking to outscore opponents."

As opposed to what, looking to be outscored? The goal of the basketball game is to outscore your opponent. This writer gets dumber and dumber by the minute.

"Everyone expects it, and Arenas does his best not to disappoint, even if it is counterproductive to the team's cause."

Somebody please quantify this statement to me. How is "Gilbert being Gilbert" counterproductive. Did Gilbert make BTH play like a statue? Did Gilbert make AD forget where he was on the court? Did Gilbert made AJ, DS, and CB get hurt in the final 10 seconds? I almost thought these other guys were professionals for a second. I didn't know that BTH gets so rattled by a minor "disruption." It's a good thing we've got such rock-solid, steady veterans on the court instead of mental marshmallows. I'll take the guy who stepped on the court for the first time in 6 months and hit 2 should-be decisive free throws to put us on top rather than a guy who can't play up to par because a teammate walked onto the court a couple minutes late.

Posted by: psps23 | April 4, 2008 1:53 PM

You know what they say people, "you should ignore ignorance!" People, I will be ignoring you know! Maybe then you can focus on the other bloggers.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 1:57 PM

I really hope that quote from Haywood was directed at the whole team. If it was directed at Gilbert then he is a huge hypocrite.

Posted by: Dude | April 4, 2008 2:09 PM

BTH was playing out of rhythm b/c he was clearly assigned to help out on Gilby's man. Every time Gilby's man made a move, BTH went over to double, which left Bogut open.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 4, 2008 2:35 PM

Sorry I didn't elaborate. He wouldn't be a hypocrite for his poor play in the last game. If that quote was directed at Gilbert I would assume that Haywood was annoyed at Gilbert being a distraction. Haywood was the biggest distraction the Wizards had in the previous couple seasons because of his sulking and his fist fights with Etan. He has no moral high ground to complain about other teammates. I don't think his situation with Etan and Eddie were completely his fault, but I'm sure there were plenty of times he could have gotten back to business and didn't.

Posted by: Dude | April 4, 2008 2:48 PM

Well said, Dude. Now sit back and wait for the inevitable angry backlash from the Haywood's Harpies, Brendan's official cheering section/personal cult.

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