Washington Wizards Run-Down: LeBron Wants His Calls
Well, you’re in luck…because below is a massive, massive list of links and the best of what was said about the Wiz. Enjoy.
The Miami Heat game was very boring, but at least we were reminded that Brendan Haywood is The Player Formerly Known as Brenda [Stet Sports].
Post Cleveland (since we’re getting ready for a rematch Wednesday — the first one wasn’t a meaningless game, doubt this one will be either — wonder if Gil could host a party in the Mistake By The Lake like LeBron did in DC?)
Be sure and check out the Wiz-Cavs Screen Shot Memories on Bullets Forever.
Things You Like To Hear From Gil Arenas
“I just want to flow through Antawn and Caron. They’ve been holding the ship down, so I’m not gonna come in here and step on their toes. I’m just come in here, get them the ball, get some of the young guys the ball, show them the right way to play basketball . . . I don’t need to go out here and score 30 because everybody knows I can do that. Like I’ve said before, my worst day, I can probably average 10 and 10.”
Songaila The Hero
Then [Brendan Haywood] paused, started grinning and yelled out “THEN IT WAS THE WHITE KNIGHT! DARIUS SONGAILA, THE WHITE KNIGHT! BACK IN THE GAME! WHITE KNIGHT!!” Songaila sitting next to Haywood getting his shoes on and gave a fist pump and grinned.
Songaila isn’t one for emotion, but he really let loose on Thursday, hooting and hollering like he was playing for the Lithuanian national team, not in some relatively meaningless game for a lottery team. “You could feel the energy building up in the arena,” Songaila said. “We were all fired up. I think that definitely showed on the court.”
The first few minutes of last night’s game were very ugly for Washington. There was no rhythm on offense, the defense looked completely disjointed, and it looked like Cleveland was on their way to an easy win. As I watched, I remember thinking to myself, “It looks like these guys haven’t played basketball together.”
Soon after that, I had another thought run through my mind: “Oh yeah, these guys haven’t played basketball together.”
If Gil Arenas Says It’s a Rivalry Then It’s A Rivalry
“No matter when we play, if we have three players, 12 players, when we have to play Cleveland, we get up for it,” Arenas said. “It’s been a rivalry since Larry Hughes decided to go there. It’s always going to be a good game.”
More On Rivalries
The war may long be over, but like those Japanese soldiers who didn’t get the word for a long time that WWII had wrapped up, the Wizards continue their endless battle against Cleveland.
1) Don’t think WWII was expected to come back for a subsequent season.
2) “Over? Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL NO!”
Sure each year the Bully gets a few new cherry pickers and coach brown got himself some new lesbians eyeglasses but really nothing changed. As usual the Cavs came in so cocky, treating Wiz like they were Groom of the Stool but the Wiz put the Pride Inside, the Soul in the Hole, the Mike James in a suit and rose up and shocked the world!
The Wizards likely will have a top five pick, but I get the sense that Ernie still very much wants to trade it away. If Blake Griffin fell into their laps, obviously the Wizards would love to have him. But otherwise?? When asked, Ernie said his team enters the offseason sitting in a very good position, and repeatedly used the word “asset” when referring to that pick. Now, that “asset” could be used to package with a veteran for some relief, but as far as the current young guys on the roster, I get the sense that Ernie still likes what he has.
Janet Jackson Would Be Proud of Gilbert’s Control
Arenas has no trouble controlling the floor, though, as he has dished out 20 assists with only one turnover in his two games. “Gilbert has come back with a wonderful, pass-first mentality,” Tapscott said.
Did anyone see Deshawn Stevenson last night? That underachieving journeyman role-player was hurt, but I am sure he was really prideful last night for no reason. That makes me angry.
[Waiting For Next Year]
“It’s an NBA team, there’s nothing embarrassing about [losing to the Wizards],” Lebron James said. “To look at it and say it is embarrassing is disrespectful to them.”
It’s Official: Wizards are Better With Gilbert Arenas
What is Ziller Thinking? [NBA FanHouse]
Honestly, while Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler both might be better players than their injured counterparties (sic), Arenas and Haywood serve more integral roles based solely on their positions and Washington’s roster makeup.
But again, can Pollin afford it? The rumor mill has Washington desperately needing to unload a fat contract to sneak closer to the luxury tax. The easiest players to trade will be Jamison and Butler … but losing them while getting Arenas and Haywood back resembles cutting off your right thumb to surgically enhance your reproductive organ. To lose a Songaila or Etan Thomas, the Wizards will need to pour in a lot of sugar. The first-round pick? McGee? McGee and the high second-round pick? This path won’t be cheap.
Gilbert Injury Prone? [Layup Drill.com]
When people hear the name Gilbert Arenas, there are normally two things that come to ones mind.
Either it’s: Agent Zero is sick! He is an amazing player…definitely top 5 in the league or Gilbert Arenas is the biggest injury prone player in the league…watch out! If you sneeze next to him he could get injured for an entire season.
Believe it or not…both statements are correct.
Michael Lee Calls Out Mr. Wishy-Washy [Wizards Insider]
But you wish the guy would communicate with his coach first.
This is the third time in the past six weeks that Arenas has said one thing, while Ed Tapscott has said another. First, he admitted that he was practicing while Tapscott continued to cover for him. Then, Arenas announced that he would return to action against Detroit on Saturday while Tapscott said the plan had yet to be finalized. And finally, Arenas said that he could play against Memphis only a few minutes after his coach said that he prefers to rest Arenas against the Grizzlies so that he can play in a home game.
A Different Story [Washington Post]
Haywood’s return never carried the same “will he/won’t he” mystery as Arenas’s, and it was much more understated. Instead of an announcement to a reporter via text message, Haywood had a quiet, hotel room conversation in Memphis with Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott — which Tapscott initially interpreted as an April Fools’ Day joke.
Gilbert Rushing It? [Wizards Insider]
“You miss two yea
rs of your young career, you just want to go out and play. You don’t want to go there and be subject to 28 minutes. That’s my only problem right now. You just want to go out and play. I missed too much of my career right now to be worried about minutes.”
The Return of Gilbert Arenas [Hoops Addict]
The highlight of their season was when President Obama spontaneously dropped in on Wizards/Bulls matchup, and they rose to the occasion and won the game 113-90.
…..I learn that Wizards guard Mike James is out for the season with a fractured finger. Right away, I’m wondering how this will affect Arenas’ minutes, if at all. I also find myself wondering if Mike James will be in a Wizards uniform at all next year given that Arenas is back and Crittenton has established himself as a legitimate back-up point guard.
Surely Grunfeld wants to move James, but his contract will be more valuable to/desirable by other teams heading up to next season’s trade deadline, not necessarily this summer. So, I’d say there’s a 65% chance that James is on the opening day roster for ’09-’10. Gone will be this year’s fill-in, Juan Dixon, and unless the Wiz draft a point (which I doubt they’ll want to spend time developing considering the ‘win now’ atmosphere, unless Ricky Rubio is available of course), James will have a spot on the bench….but he’s not your ideal bench PG (no defense/gunner)…so, hopefully not.
During his pre-game press conference, [Pistons] Coach [Michael] Curry mentions that the defensive strategy against Arenas is to attack him with different looks before he can return the favor. When asked how the Pistons would force Arenas to play defense, Curry chuckled and said, “That’s not really his [Arenas] thing.” The implication here is that Arenas does not play defense.
Play the Man [Washington Times, Tom Knott]
Those who argued that Arenas should have sat out the rest of the season saw the issue in the context of the team’s record.
But there is a significant mental component to all this.
Antawn Jamison on Nick Young [Washington Times]
“We joke with [Nick Young] all the time about having blinders on like the horses. He sees that rim, and that’s it. But now I think he’s starting to understand in the past it was mostly one-on-one, but now if he comes out on pick-and-rolls or he tries to drive the ball, teams realize how talented he is on the offensive end and sometimes start sending two guys at him. So I just tell him, ‘Take your time, and sometimes you’ve got to understand when you see two guys on you, you can create easy opportunities for your teammates.’ And I think you’re starting to see that.”
Would You Trade Andray Blatche for Joakim Noah? [Stet Sports]
To Lead or Not To Lead [The Sporting Blog]
We’ve seen this year how much DC misses Gilbert’s talent on the court. But I wonder how much it’s his oft-maligned “leadership” — which in his case, translates into a suspension of common sense and general distortion of reality — that might be his greatest asset for this team. You pay for the points, the big shots, and the PG play. After these Arenas-less seasons, though, I think we might be seeing that the attitude once thought of as a problem for the franchise might be essential to its future.
So Will Gilbert Arenas Really Mature? [Stet Sports]
After the Pacers Game [Wizards Insider]
How the Wizards were able to reach triple digits in scoring with just 10 assists is rather perplexing.
Interim Coach Ed Tapscott blamed “my-turn basketball” for the astounding statistic.
“You know what my-turn basketball is? My-turn to shoot,” Tapscott said. “That really disappointed me.”
When [Ivan Carter] reminded Tapscott that Crittenton was his only effective ball-handler with Arenas, Mike James and Juan Dixon out, he replied: “He’s not the only guy who is supposed to pass the ball,” Tapscott said.
Truth About It: Glad to see that Gil sharing the ball against Detroit had such a positive and lasting affect on the team.
WE CAN DANCE, WE CAN DANCE IF WE WANT TO
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Talking About Practice