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DaveO

The Washington Wizards (1997-), Formerly The Washington Bullets (1974-1997) and The Capital Bullets (1973-1974)

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The Nats so need a Paul Pierce type figure. It's the biggest thing lacking on that roster.

I believe this is the best Wizards team in decades...really since the end of the 1970's.  Last year they developed into a winner...this year they are a bit better.

The huge key is John Wall.  He should be 1st, 2nd or 3rd team all pro this year.  If not first team, its because of such astonishing competition at the point guard spot.  He entirely controls the offense, the pace of the game for the Wizards, distributing the ball...and he is playing some great defense.

Like so many players that come into the league after 1 year, he needed time to develop.  Last year he got real good, this year better.

Paul Pierce was a good and lucky addition.  Its funny, a Toronto Raptor acknowledged that Pierce's moxie, his words, and his attitude got into the Raptors.  And Pierce played well to boot.

Gilbert Arenas, a few years ago was their best player in decades.  His "reign" was brief and besides getting terribly injured, he did too many knuckleheaded things.  Wall is more talented, more stable, and a better all around leader.

In the next round the Wizards will play a team that is not at their best.  If the Atlanta team wins their playoffs they are way off their game when they were killing the league earlier in the season.  They have injuries, lost one key player...and they don't have the magic they had earlier.   If they play the Nets....well they just aren't that good, nor have they played well all season.

If they get past that round its anyone's game.   Pierce does help.  But Wall is usually the key.  In fact there is a case for Wall as the MVP in the playoffs at least in the first round:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=12800312

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... Pierce does help. But Wall is usually the key. In fact there is a case for Wall as the MVP in the playoffs at least in the first...

Of course, now we know things have changed and unlikely Wall will play again this postseason. Really disappointing with how well they were playing.

So what happens today, in Game 3, without Wall? Paul "The Truth" Pierce with a buzzer beater to win and put the Wiz up 2-1 in the series.

Fun fact: today, two players, for two DC-based pro sport franchises, both sporting the number 34, had game-ending heroics, both vanquishing opposing teams from Atlanta. Wiz over Hawks thanks to Pierce and Nats over Braves courtesy Harper. Quite the day for DC sports. Hopefully, the Caps do their part in Game 6 tomorrow at Verizon.

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Of course, now we know things have changed and unlikely Wall will play again this postseason. Really disappointing with how well they were playing.

So what happens today, in Game 3, without Wall? Paul "The Truth" Pierce with a buzzer beater to win and put the Wiz up 2-1 in the series.

Fun fact: today, two players, for two DC-based pro sport franchises, both sporting the number 34, had game-ending heroics, both vanquishing opposing teams from Atlanta. Wiz over Hawks thanks to Pierce and Nats over Braves courtesy Harper. Quite the day for DC sports. Hopefully, the Caps do their part in Game 6 tomorrow at Verizon.

That was a nail biting tremendously clutch shot.  Its the kind of clutch shot that puts an exclamation point to the description of career greatness.  Clutch!!!  No other way to describe it.  He got the ball, played with it, waited out the clock and scored.

Meanwhile Otto Porter, the Wizards generally disappointing 3rd round pick has been playing terrific basketball throughout the playoffs.  He was on the court for the most minutes of any Wizard, filled in in every role, grabbing rebounds, passing, defense, driving, scoring.  The guy has come out of nowhere.  If he keeps this up he will be a terrific third choice pick.

Good luck to the Wiz.  I figured they were goners with Wall out.  He has arguably been at the top of MVP candidates in the midst of the first five games of the playoffs, a true all star and the guy who made the Wizards go.  If they keep advancing it will be a spectacular example of an entire team picking up the slack after losing their MVP.

.....and while I find it hard to discuss baseball this early in the season---->   Harper.  What a streak.  He is slamming dingers.   Keep it up!!!!

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Geez, Don:  I think you definitely have this post miscategorized, Horford plays for Atlanta.  Depending on which team you are for his play was either a godsend, or the kiss of death!!!!

It was a terrific hustle play.  Terrific.  Its plays like that one which turn playoff basketball into something like playoff hockey with determination and hustle often creating the crucial score.

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Geez, Don:  I think you definitely have this post miscategorized, Horford plays for Atlanta.  Depending on which team you are for his play was either a godsend, or the kiss of death!!!!

It was a terrific hustle play.  Terrific.  Its plays like that one which turn playoff basketball into something like playoff hockey with determination and hustle often creating the crucial score.

Neutral. If Paul Pierce really did this (and I don't know that he did), it seems like poetic justice that Horford's Lorenzo Charles-like play came back to bite him.

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Neutral. If Paul Pierce really did this (and I don't know that he did), it seems like poetic justice that Horford's Lorenzo Charles-like play came back to bite him.

"Paul Pierce Considers Retirement After Wizard's Crushing Game 6 Elimination" by Eric Freeman on sports.yahoo.com

I for one hope Pierce doesn't retire: He's contributing at a high-level, and he'll never be able to do this again. Still, this is a personal decision, and he'll get to go out on his own terms - Kobe Bryant would give anything to be able to do so.

Congratulations to the Wizards on a season that the entire city can be proud of.

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Pierce is great offensively in the clutch but he "can't guard a chair" (to quote Scottie Pippen on Toni Kukoc) anymore.  I can go either way on his return.

Nene on the other hand is one of the biggest wastes of physical talent in the whole league. I have never seen another player with similar physique who is as soft.

The Wizards big men were horrible guarding the pick and roll last night.

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Pierce is great offensively in the clutch but he "can't guard a chair" (to quote Scottie Pippen on Toni Kukoc) anymore.  I can go either way on his return.

Nene on the other hand is one of the biggest wastes of physical talent in the whole league. I have never seen another player with similar physique who is as soft.

The Wizards big men were horrible guarding the pick and roll last night.

I can't speak to Pierce's defense but you are probably correct.  He is older and has lost quickness.  I'm sure he has lost a lot in that area.

On the center side, I watched the Wiz a good bit this season.  I think their 2 big guys are sort of "middle of the pack".   I have to admit not focusing on their dee of the pick and roll.  But everyone plays it.  So you better work on the dee part.

Over the season, in an era without really great centers* I viewed them as a wash most of the time against other big men and big men tandems.  I do agree Nene plays soft for such a big guy.  I think the Wiz have him on contract for another year or two.  They'll be good to move on without him.

In the 5th game some writers "blamed" Nene for having the ball ripped out from him by Horford on the game winning play.  I didn't see it that way.  Horford made a great hustle play racing in unobstructed on his side from beyond the top of the key.  There was nobody way out to obstruct him from that run, but there shouldn't have been, IMHO.  He had better position and more of the ball than did Nene and got control.  His run and position made it easy for him to score while everyone else was falling in a scrum behind him.  Good hustle play.  Cost the Wiz.

In the 6th game Nene played a lot b/c Gortat was ill.  He wasn't as good.  Had Gortat been healthy it might have made the difference.

Going forward I don't know what the Wiz will do with a lot of money tied up with Nene and Gortat.  But I'm not tasked with making the decisions.   ;)

*Anthony Davis is great.  He is quicker than any big man on the court and has excellent skills.  He is probably at super star level right now.  On a side note, I had noticed, farmer john, that you thought well of the skills of Okafer from Duke.  I saw a bit of Okafer this year.  I must have seen his less than stellar games.  He might have moves but he moves slowly...not with the quickness that Olajuwan had and not with the quickness that Anthony Davis has.  I kept seeing Okafor stymied by the defenses of other teams.  I think Okafer will be a project.  But virtually every draftee is a project.

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I place no blame on Nene for the end of game 5- that was an instance where the ball just bounced the wrong way. In general the Wizards perimeter defense has been one of the strong points of the team as well. Wall and Beal might be the best pair of guards in the league defensively. In game 7 it seemed they just stuck with something that wasn't working which let Teague and Schroter have the drive off of the pick and roll pretty much at will. Some more athletic big men would help a lot (or having consistent effort from their one athletic big).

As far as Okafor- his offensive game is much more advanced than Davis was when he came out. At Duke he was pretty much the only post player in a 4 guard lineup a lot of the time. He will be able to score in the NBA from the get go- his defense and rebounding are of course nowhere near Davis and never will be. No one else in the league is near Davis in those regards either though, except perhaps Dwight Howard on the rare occasions he has a fire under his behind. They are all indeed projects when they leave college as boys and move into a league of grown men.

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John Wall was not voted All NBA in 2014-2015   Maybe he gets official credit for honorable mention as he was among five players whose vote totals most closely trailed those of the third team.

Of the 6 guards who were honored above him, they all had great years and deserve credit.  My only observation was that Klay Thompson was a 2 guard somewhat living off of Curry's incredible year....while Wall was easily the single star that drove the Wiz this past season.

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Two thoughts about the naming contest held in 1997, when Abe Pollin wanted to switch away from the Bullets name as a way of protesting gun violence:

Remember, the final list of potential names were:

* Sea Dogs

* Wizards

* Stallions

* Dragons

* Express

1) I have thought, for a long time, that Sea Dogs was an extremely clever tactic planted to make the final choice - whatever it might be - seem palatable in comparison, and minimizing any dissent. In other words, no matter what was chosen, people would be saying, "Well, thank *God* it wasn't Sea Dogs!"

2) Sea Dogs was the best name of the five.

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Considering how disappointing this year's Nats were and that some of the problems during the year resulted in the firing of the manager and the entire coaching staff, this story about the complete disaster that was the Wizards when there were guns in the locker room in the mid 2000's while Gilbert Arenas reigned as one of the best and wackiest players in the NBA is simply incredible.

At that time, the Wizards were one of the better teams in the NBA, or at least playoff contenders every year with their version of a "big 3";  Arenas, the whacko and one of the better players in the league, Caron Butler, (the article is an excerpt from a book he wrote), and Antawn Jamison, mentioned in the story.  Jamison and Butler probably both made a couple of all star games, and Arenas was the best of the lot.

By the way I recall Butler from the early 2000's while he was in college and while the University of Maryland made its two year run into the NCAA finals, winning one year.  My memory is pretty strong that Butler, playing for U Conn was easily the best, quickest most dangerous player in the college game at that time.

All is relative.  If this year's Nats had some level of disfunction that hampered the team during the season it was nothing compared to this story of the Wizards at their knuckleheaded worst.

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3 hours ago, farmer john said:

I have actually supported him for years but enough is enough. This bunch of dogs is headed for the abyss. 

I agree let Ernie go.  BUT......its a tough position.   The Wiz are not one of those teams that are naturally attractive to big name Free Agents; similar to a lot of teams.   They spent big on Beal.  Crap he'll always suffer injuries.  As pretty as his shot is, he shows no evidence of becoming Ray Allen.   Would have been a huge risk to let him go.  Decisions are tough.  Meanwhile they spent about $30 million on reserves and got ZERO.   Man if I were making those decisions you'd be bitching at me.  I'd be bitching at the imaginary dave the GM. 

Get someone new as a GM.  This team looks  ugly, plays ugly and there are ugly words coming out of the frustrated players.  Start changing.

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10 hours ago, farmer john said:

Fire Ernie now.

We had "The Bernie and Ernie Show"; we just didn't have it at the right time.

B&E.jpg

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On 11/20/2016 at 10:54 AM, farmer john said:

I have actually supported him for years but enough is enough. This bunch of dogs is headed for the abyss. 

So far I'd call them depressing.  Terrible record.  They aren't getting blown out, they just keep losing.  The bench does suck.  Really sucks.  REALLY. SUCKS. 

Beal is certainly not playing to his salary and has missed 3 of 12 games.  Shooting poorly so far. (so is Klay Thompson).  They aren't terrible terrible.  But they can't win, they can't get big leads and they can't close teams out.   Based on where they were drafted one would hope that Beal and Porter would seriously step up.  But they haven't.  I hoped Morris would be a steal.  He's not.  Seemingly an average player.  The bench is beyond horrific.

In that they aren't getting blown out...with improvement they could reverse their record somewhat...with close losses becoming close wins....but its too depressing to think that might occur. 

How does that change?   Some coaches can coach a team up during the season.  Don't know if this coach can do that.   Beal needs to improve his shooting.  They have to play defense all over the floor.  The bench...whew.  Just play the younger guys and hope they improve.  This bench sucks.  (did I say that earlier?)

I was at  one game.  I've been a game goer since the 70's.  There have been very depressing periods.  This is one of them.  (did I mention that the bench S.U.C,K.S

 

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Scrapping together a solid bench has been Ernie's strong point prior to this year. If there is a weaker bench in the league this year I have not seen it.

Beal is going to drag the team down with him if he can't stay on the floor (and I'm betting he can't). His contract is not Ernie's fault though- the Wiz had no alternative on that one.

Beal, however, is one of the only competent draft picks Ernie has ever made. Even when I was defending him (E) he was lousy at recognizing young talent.

I really wish everyone on the team other than Wall and Gortat would just go away. 

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Column by Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post as to just how depressing this team is.  The fan base is justifiably depressed.  The team has not won a division championship, let alone any significant success in the playoffs in the 80's, 90's, double oughts, and this decade.  Ugh.  I might have seen my first bullets game in '69.  Saw them in '70 and every year since.  Had season tickets, ticket plans, and as was described in the article above...why buy direct tickets now...the resale market is full of uber cheap seats.  Why bother.  As one fan referenced that he couldn't give tickets away...I discovered that pretty long time ago.  

But it seems worse now.  A hopeful run with the Arenas "era" team...then a hopeful run with the Wall led team....and now they stink out loud again.  Just depressing.  Beal and Porter are delicate and injury prone.  Morris??   Nah...he isn't special.  Gortat....okay solid.  I believe Wall is one of the better players in the league. 

long term depression.  Good thing its only sports.

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17 minutes ago, DaveO said:

Good thing its only sports.

This is actually an incredibly important statement. 

When Clemson lost to Pitt, I wanted to slit my wrists, and couldn't even watch the end of the game. Then, as it was ending, I said to myself, "Nobody died, my life isn't going to change, I'm going to go work on my website now." 

The great thing about sports is that you can be a total hypocrite and not be wrong: You can revel in the victories just as lustily as if you'd won $10,000 in craps, and justify the losses by saying, "It's only sports." Very few other things in this world afford people the same luxury.

Imagine how Cubs fans felt. I *love* this story:

"108-Year-Old Chicago Cubs Fan Dies Six Days after Celebrating Second World Series Victory: Report" by Stephanie Petit on people.com

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Yeah, From a fan perspective; hopefully one puts wins and losses in perspective.  Hopefully.  On the player side I reflect back on something I heard, experienced and referenced here at DR.com.  A friend (schoolmate) was a starting defenseman on the Hopkins Lacrosse team that played in the national championship.  At regulation the game was tied and entered sudden death extra time.  In overtime my friend scooped up a loose ball at midfield with every player (but goalies) roughly at the center stripe, sprinted into open field, led every other player by yards, had a shot at a winning score....and missed.  The other team got the ball, brought it down and scored.  My friend lost the one in a million shot at being a hero and doing the virtually never done one in a million shot...being a defenseman to score the winning goal.  BTW:  In the following year this guy was a starter on the national championship team.

We ran into one another roughly 10 to a dozen years later at lunch and had a nice conversation.  At the end of the chat I asked if he recalled that play.  

WHOA.  He said he thought about it every night.  EVERY NIGHT.  365 nights times 10 or 12.  Over 3,000 nights.   EVERY NIGHT.  

Sometimes its better to be a fan than a player.  ;)

 

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On 11/20/2016 at 9:06 AM, farmer john said:

Fire Ernie now.

Good timing.  The media has been picking up on this potential disaster.  Recent article on one aspect of the myriad of problems in Bleacher Report.

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