Bullets Fever

A blog and community website for the Washington Wizards and their fans.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

ATTENTION: Bullets Fever is moving to Bulletsforever.com

A while ago, I casually mentioned that there was big news happening with the site in the near future. Ladies and gentlemen, the future has officially arrived.

Bullets Fever is officially moving to bulletsforever.com. That's right, I'm now going to be blogging for Sports Blog Nation. Why Bullets Forever? Blame the SB Nation guys. They started building the site under that url and neither of us wanted to change back. I kind of like the ring anyway, so it was probably a blessing that they got the url wrong initially.

In case you don't know, Sports Blog Nation is arguably the premier sports blogging network on the internet, and it's home to some amazing team blogs, including Blogabull, Sactown Royalty, Golden State of Mind, Blogging the Boys, Sunday Morning Quarterback, U Dub Dish, Athletics Nation, and many more. They're adding more basketball bloggers and I've signed on to be their Wizards guy.

So why make the switch? There are a ton of reasons. In no particular order.

1. Community: In case you haven't noticed, I've bent over backwards on this site to try to make Bullets Fever a community website. I've posed discussion questions at the end of each entry in an attempt to empower you, the reader. Unfortunately, there's only so much you can do on blogger. However, SB Nation has some amazing features that allow you guys to actively participate in the Bullets Forever community. They have these features called "Diaries" that basically allow you guys to create your own mini blog entries. You also have the power to easily comment on my own posts. All you have to do is create an account. It literaly takes two seconds. Just give an e-mail address, and you're pretty much all set.

2. Exposure: Not gonna lie. SB Nation blogs get a ton of readers, and this move will give the blog a lot more exposure. The more readers a blog gets, the better a blog becomes. I'm hoping Bullets Forever can be the #1 independent source for Washington Wizards on the internet, and the move to SB Nation certainly helps with that goal.

3. The Layout: Blogger can be really frustrating to deal with, and I'm tired of fiddling around with margins and sidebar stuff only to get a so-so layout. The SB Nation sites have this revolutionary software called "Scoop" that makes their sites look freaking amazing. They created that cool logo and all the stuff on the sidebar (except for the links). Better yet, the stuff is insanely easy to use. So to sum it all up, better layout + easy to use=no brainer.

The content itself isn't going to change much. There will be open threads, game recaps, and all the other random stuff that already is here. I don't expect much of that to change.

So please, I encourage everyone to join me at bulletsforever.com. I've been blessed to have some awesome readers, and I hope that you all can still be here even as the site switches. Update your blogrolls and your feeds, and come along for the ride.

Once again, I welcome everyone to join me at bulletsforever.com!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rockets 114, Wizards 109: Can I write a check?

When Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison combine for 70 points, it's usually enough to get the Wizards the win. Tonight, however, it simply wasn't the case, as the Wizards fell to the Houston Rockets 114-109 at home.

In the game preview, I suggested that the Wizards let Yao and T-Mac get theirs and focus on stopping the rest of the team. Quite simply, it was a silly suggestion. Yao was unstoppable last night, as he constantly used his size and length to dominate Etan Thomas and the other Wizards centers. When he didn't score, he was fouled, and he hit 12 of 14 from the line. The Wizards had no chance against him last night. Before McGrady left the game with back spasims (be concerned, Rockets fans!), he was dominating on the perimeter with 28 points on 10 of 21 from the field. Finally, even with all of that, the Wizards still allowed 4 other guys to score in double figures. It was simply a dreadful defensive performance.

On the other end, the Big 3 played their game, but nobody else showed up. DeShawn Stevenson was 2 for 9, Etan Thomas 1 for 5, and Antonio Daniels 0 for 1. How in the world is Daniels only shooting one shot? That simply can't happen again. As good as Arenas, Butler, and Jamison are, they need a fourth scorer to do anything.

The defensive performance in particular is somewhat troubling. It's true that no other team has a guy like Yao, and the Wizards simply never have a chance to stop him. However, T-Mac should not be getting 28 points in such a short amount of time. The Wizards surrendered too many open jumpers to Shane Battier, Luther Head, and Juwan Howard. Once again, the Wizards struggled defensively to guard teams that play a half-court style. It happened in Chicago and it happened again last night.

I did see three encouraging signs, however. 38 free throws is really good, even if they gave up 38 to the Rockets. Jamison had a big game yesterday, and his production continues to be a major key for the team. Finally, Eddie opened up the bench, as Roger Mason, Calvin Booth, and even James Lang got into the game yesterday. I've been begging for this the entire season, and it finally seems like Jordan is getting the message. True, Booth and Lang probably only played because of Haywood's injury, but at least Jordan is making the effort.

All in all, it's been 20 games, and the Wizards are 9-11. They've proven they can beat bad teams and even a couple good ones. However, they have to beat good teams at home more consistently to reach the next level. They have two of those types of games next week against Denver and Miami. A sweep of those two teams will signal the Wizards are really back.

Postgame thoughts? What did you take away from the loss?

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Open Thread: Game 20

Regular Season Game 20
Rockets (13-6) vs. Wizards (9-10)
Verizon Center
7 PM
CSN and NBA League Pass

Previous Matchups: Rockets 86, Wizards 82

Tonight, the Houston Rockets come into town to play the Wizards at 7 PM. A win would put the Wizards back at .500 for the first time since very early in the season.

Houston's a team I really like. They have two big stars and great surrounding role players. The key to their improvement this season has been defensively. Shane Battier has been a revelation on the defensive end all year, and Yao and T-Mac have stepped up their game on the defensive end. The Rockets are coming off games where they've held teams to 63 and 62 points, and they held the Wizards to only 82 points in the first matchup.

Offensively, the Wizards need to guard Tracy McGrady well. He's the one that makes the Rockets go, and he's really improved his offensive playmaking ability. Yao of course is the go-to-guy, but the Wizards have to be careful about doubling him because he's a great passer and will kick it out to open shooters. The Wizards have to make Yao and T-Mac beat them on their own. I would honestly suggest single covering Yao most of the game to take guys like Rafer Alston and Luther Head out of the game.

On the other end, Antawn Jamison remains the key. Last night's game was the first the Wizards won all year when he had under 18 points. The Rockets aren't going to give anything easily, so Jamison, Arenas, and Butler need to attack the tin. If the Rockets win the free throw battle tonight, it's a recipe for disaster.

Rockets Blogs: Rockets Blast, Clutch Fans.

The Wizards are at home, so I like their chances. Battier will probably stick to guarding Caron Butler, leaving Alston on Arenas. The Wizards stunk in the last game against the Rockets, and at home, I expect the offense to be much better. Guarding Yao will be key. He'll get his points, but you can't let him get his assists. The Wizards need to turn Houston into a two-man team to win this one.

Prediction: Wizards 94, Rockets 80

If you're online during the game, give a shout!

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Wizards 113, Sixers 98: They did play the game, you know

The big news of the game may have been Allen Iverson, but the Wizards and the Sixers did in fact play a game last night. After falling way behind early on, the Wizards turned things around emphatically and got a pretty easy 15 point win. Gilbert Arenas has another big game, and guys like Brendan Haywood and Roger Mason stepped up with big contributions off the bench.
Early on, the Sixers were playing with much more energy than the Wizards. Guys like Kyle Korver, Willie Greene, and Andre Iguodala were playing as if they had something to prove. Finally freed from the AI shadow, these guys had Phily up 46-26 midway through the second quarter. Then, the Wizards started to hit shots. Gilbert Arenas and DeShawn Stevenson hit key shots, and after Arenas’ buzzer-beating halftime three, the Wizards were only down by 4. It got better in the third quarter, as the Wizards finally got some easy hoops and took control of the game. Phily had nothing left in the fourth and the Wizards got their second road win of the year.

It took time, but the more talented team won. The 76ers simply were overmatched tonight in the talent department. When your best player can barely jump, you know you’re in trouble. The Sixers couldn’t stop the Wizards offensively once the Wizards pulled themselves together. All in all, the Wizards didn’t play their best game by any means. The Sixers shot nearly 50 percent from the field and didn’t turn the ball over. The Wizards won because they got to the line, shooting 30 free throws compared to 19 for the Sixers. Other than that, the Wizards didn’t really do anything crazy well. They had significantly more talent than the Sixers, and their offense ran circles around Phily’s porous half-court defense the entire game.

Without AI, the Sixers are a mess. Chris Webber is too old and everyone else is too one-dimensional and inexperienced. None of those young guys impressed me at all, and this team needs a major makeover fast. Life without Iverson simply isn’t going to be fun for Sixers fans.

Three plays in particular showed how bad the Sixers are during the third quarter.

  • With the score tied at 65, Caron Butler had the ball on the wing and dribbled aimlessly towards the middle, with Kyle Korver staying right with him. Despite this, Rodney Carney, who was guarding DeShawn Stevenson on the wing, takes his eye off his man and commits slightly towards Butler. Stevenson goes backdoor and Butler hits him for the easy jam as Carney just stood there helplessly. Probably the worst man defense I’ve ever seen.
  • Off a Sixers miss, Gilbert Arenas sees the Sixers getting back slowly and throws a long pass ahead to Stevenson. Carney and Steven Hunter are slow to get back, and Kevin Ollie is standing aimlessly in the middle of the court staring at the flight of the ball. Stevenson makes the catch and both Kyle Korver and Chris Webber run at him. Meanwhile, Brendan Haywood sneaks behind Ollie and is wide open on the other side. Easy alley oop, easy slam for Haywood. 71-65 Wizards.
  • 78-73, final minute of the quarter. Haywood comes out and sets a high screen for Arenas at the top of the key. Steven Hunter and Kevin Ollie attempt to trap Arenas, but Ollie is easily picked off and Hunter cheats left when trying to hedge. Arenas splits the two and comes right down the lane. Korver and Webber both come to greet him, leaving Caron Butler wide open on the right side. Butler takes the pass and goes right to the rim. Carney, who had been guarding Stevenson on the other side, comes to meet him, but instead of holding his ground, Carney jumps in a feigned attempt to block the shot. Butler easily maneuvers around Carney in the air for the huge two-handed jam.

Three horrible defensive sequences helped to bring the Sixers down last night. The Wizards weren’t doing anything fancy, but the Sixers still had no idea how to rotate as a team. Phily is just a downright terrible defensive team.

As for the bigger news, I’ve heard Denver, Minnesota, the Clippers, Golden State, Seattle, Indiana, and even Boston mentioned as potential Iverson destinations. It appears the Sixers don’t want to deal him to an Eastern Conference club, so I doubt he ends up with Indy or Boston. Denver and Minnesota both sound good, but both break down in a hurry. A KG/Iverson or Melo/Iverson combo sounds great, but Minnesota would be even further in salary cap hell and Denver isn’t looking to add another scorer. Seattle and the Clippers sound the most intriguing to me. The Clippers could do it with Shaun Livingston or they could put together a Maggette/Mobley/Singelton/Sofoklis Schortsianitis package. Iverson and Elton Brand would get along really well together, and if Livingston stays, the Clippers would be right up there with the best in the West. Seattle also may work, possibly something like Rashard Lewis/Luke Ridnour/one of the young centers. Iverson and Ray Allen may be able to put Seattle back near the top again. Also, don’t rule out teams like Sacramento and Chicago. Both teams have imaginative GMs and interesting trade pieces. A Mike Bibby/Kevin Martin package is intriguing, and the Bulls could do it with a Ben Gordon/Luol Deng/P.J. Brown/ offer. Either way, expect the unexpected with an Iverson trade.

As for the Wizards, last night was a good win, and with Houston coming into town tonight, another victory would be huge.

Postgame thoughts? What did you think about the win?

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Arenas at 24, or AI at 24?

Editor's Note: I've just pulled an all-nighter, so actual clear writing just simply isn't going to happen at this moment. My apologies. -Pradamaster

With the Wizards traveling to Phily to face the 76ers, we get a chance to see a battle between two of basketball's most dynamic scoring point guards in Allen Iverson and Gilbert Arenas. The players are so similar it's uncanny. Both can be playmakers, but function best through explosive scoring ability with the ball in their hands. Iverson was more explosive, but Arenas has a better jumper and uses angles extremely well.

One commenter said a while ago that he'd rather have Iverson than Agent Zero right now. Considering AI is 31 and Arenas is 24, this makes no sense. But who was the better player at age 24? That's certainly still open to debate.

A quick look at the stats actually gives Arenas the overall advantage.

Iverson in 2000: 28.4 points, 4.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 42% field goal percentage, 34% 3 point percentage, 20.0 PER
Arenas in 2006: 29.3 points, 6.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 45% field goal percentage, 37% 3 point percentage, 23.8 PER

In terms of pure numbers, Arenas has the overwhelming advantage. The only categories Iverson has a leg up are in rebounds and steals, and the difference is negligable. Arenas has a moderate advantage in points and three point percentage and a significant advantage in assists, field goal percentage, and player efficiency rating. However, we also have to account changes in the rules that may account for Iverson's smaller scoring average. Scoring is up around the league, so it only makes sense that Arenas' scoring is better. In addition, Arenas' inconsistency is maddening, while Iverson's production was more level from game-to-game.

So now it's your turn. Who's the better player at age 24? Iverson, or Arenas? Explain your reasoning.

I just woke up to see the Wizards getting their butts kicked by an Iverson-less Sixers team before turning it around now emphatically. Strange game. I'll have a lot more on the game itself and the news about Allen Iverson later on, but for now, I guess this can also be an open game thread.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wizards 113, Knicks 102: No more monkey on our backs!

The Wizards finally got their first win on the road tonight against the Knicks in the place where the road funk really started. They didn't even play well except for some insane shooting, so it's nice that they got a win not playing their best. The Knicks outrebounded the Wizards again and got to the line more, but Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison simply were hitting everything.

Of course, for the Knicks, playing at home usually is akin to playing a road game, so if you really want to be facetious, you could say the Wizards still haven't really won on the road. Whatever. At least they won away from the Verizon Center.

For more, I'm going to turn it over to Seth from Your New York Knicks, who attended the game and was kind enough to drop me an e-mail with his thoughts. Even though Seth's an enemy blogger, it's great to hear thoughts from someone who attended the game, and I really hope this can become a common practice in future games. Thanks, Seth!
Yo, here's a few thoughts on the Wiz from tonight's game:

- The Wiz as a team really seem to be an extension of Arenas. In the last Knicks-Wizards game, Arenas couldn't buy a bucket, and the team followed suit. Tonight, Gilbert hit just about everything (including a casual 40 footer after a whistle), and the Wizards followed suit. Streakiest team I've seen in a while.

- Speaking of Arenas, one of things that makes him so amazing, in my opinion, is that he's completely predictable. When he's hot, you can tell very early on in a play when and where's he gonna shoot. The entire crowd knows, his teammates know, and even the defender knows. But when he's hot like he was tonight, it just doesn't matter.

- I don't remember Antawn Jamison ever being anything more than an occasional three-point shooter, but he was ridiculous (6-8) tonight. Now that I look, he's been raining threes for most of the season.

- Etan Thomas and Brendan Haywood are both total stiffs on offense (which makes Curry's performance look much worse.)

- Songaila and Ruffin are hurt, but even still, the Wiz are not a very deep team.

- Apparently, the Wizards shot 41 of 84, but off the top of my head I can remember about 3 or 4 misses. They were unbelievable.

Anyway, the Wizards looked quite fluid, and they are due much credit for completely sucking the life out of the Garden. It was impossible for them to lose when Jamison and Arenas were so damn perfect from the field. Congrats.
Thanks again Seth, and tell your team that the Wizards thank them for making it possible to finally get the monkey off our backs!

As a sidenote, I'm probably out of commission tomorrow due to finals, so I will probably see you Friday when the Wizards take on Phily. If anyone has anything long to say, send me an e-mail and I'll put it up tomorrow.

Postgame thoughts? What stood out during this game?

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Open Thread: Game 18

Regular Season Game 18
Wizards (7-10) vs. Knicks (7-13)
Madison Square Garden
7:30 PM
CSN, MSG, and NBA League Pass

Previous Matchup: Knicks 102, Wizards 82

Not much time to preview this thing in depth, but clearly, we cannot have a repeat of last time. Everything went wrong in that game. They didn't run an offense, they missed every shot, they failed to get any real rebounds, and they let Renaldo Balkman have a huge game. I hope it doesn't happen again.

Knicks Blogs: Knickerblogger, Your New York Knicks

I'll let Eddie Jordan have the last word.

"You have to grasp the opportunity, you have to grasp the moment and say, 'Look this is it, New York City, a team that beat us, really probably started a bad feeling in us. And this is a great opportunity, where it began. Let's end it.' And I think that's what they'll do," he said. "If you're going to win on the road, what better place than in New York City? It's a great place to play, our guys feel good about themselves after that performance last night, and I don't think there is, as Al Maguire would say, a pink elephant in the back of our minds or anything like that, that's gonna disrupt us and distort our focus. I think we feel good, we're jacked up. I think we all believe, from the players to us, that it's the energy and the confidence and the aggressiveness and yet the discipline we need to win on the road that we got last night."

Let's hope you're right, Eddie. I also agree and think it will stop tonight, but this team has baffled me before. Let's just say I'm not guaranteeing anything.

Prediction: Wizards 104, Knicks 94

If you're online during the game, give a shout!

In honor of the Knicks, here's the video of Nate Robinson's travel from last week.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wizards 106, Mavericks 97: HIBACHI!

For three quarters, the Wizards played possibly the best game they played in the last two years. A subpar fourth quarter made the Wizards’ performance look a lot worse than it really was.

The Wizards did two things very well. First, they really moved the ball well offensively. When the Wizards struggle offensively, it’s because there is too much one-on-one play. With Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, the Wizards have two fantastic one-on-one guys they can depend on when the shot clock goes down, but it’s dangerous to think they can just go one-on-one every single possession. It really wasn’t surprising to see than Antawn Jamison, a guy whose production rises when he’s in the flow of the offense, had his best game of the season last night. Dallas is a tough defensive team, especially inside, so to get all those open looks was really encouraging.

The other thing the Wizards did unbelievably well was they pounded Dallas on the glass. That really shocked me when I looked at the numbers. The Wizards outrebounded a very good Dallas rebounding team 53-39! That’s really solid, especially considering Dallas’ incredible offensive rebounding ability. Etan Thomas was an absolute monster last night with 10 points, 11 boards, and that one block on Devin Harris. That block was a play that really set the tone for the entire game. The Wizards showed tons of energy on defense and locked down on a really explosive Dallas team. Jason Terry, Josh Howard, and Devin Harris shot a combined 5 for 23. If you do that, you’ll beat Dallas.

While Arenas was huge with 38 points and 8 assists, (you listening, Michael Redd! You can score a shitload of points and be a good playmaker. It’s possible) the key to this game was Jamison. Unsilent pointed out a couple days ago that the Wizards are a completely different team when Jamison is playing well, and tonight showed it. Jamison’s the one guy that really needs to get his points in the flow of the offense. If the offense becomes too much based on one-on-one play, Jamison ends up trying to overcompensate and jacks up bad 19 foot jumpers. This also prevents him from getting inside for rebounds. When the offense is moving the ball well, Jamison is much more successful, and when Jamison is successful offensively, he’ll get in there and grab key rebounds. The play he made to seal the game at the end was a prime example of this.

However, I hate to say it again, but this game didn’t really prove all that much. The Wizards are 7-2 at home and could very easily be 9-0. We know they can play up to their potential against anyone in the Verizon Center. Now, they have to prove it and play well on the road. The offense needs to keep moving the ball well instead of stagnating and watching Arenas or Butler go 1 on 5. With road games against the Knicks and the Sixers on the docket this week, the Wizards have a great chance to finally get a road win.

In other news, Gilbert Arenas is going to be signing autographs/discussing his new shoe over at the NBA store in New York City. This wouldn’t ordinarily be newsworthy, but, apparently, Dan Steinberg, Unsilent Majority, Will Leitch, SLAM, and With Leather are all going to be there. Steinberg is calling this event a “Blogocalypse.” If anyone else is planning on being there, I’d really like to hear about it.

Also, Steinberg pops the “what if you could pretend you guys are at home when you’re on the road” question, and gets a ton of player responses. In an earlier Bog entry, Post Wizards beat writer Ivan Carter wondered aloud, "Is there a Shakespeare tragedy about an army that was great on its own soil but couldn't win on the road?" Clearly, this road thing is getting old and the players really have to find a way to break through. It better come this week with the Knicks and Sixers on the docket.

Finally, if you were at the game yesterday, let me know and send me your postgame thoughts. I’ll put them up here on the blog when I get them. E-mail me at pradam@brandeis.edu.

Postgame thoughts? Please someone be positive for now!

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Monday, December 04, 2006


More to come tomorrow after my final is over, but what a huge win!!!!

I got concerned at the end, for sure, but what's with the negativity right now? The Wizards just kicked the hottest team in the NBA's ass! They were up by 30 points and they held Dallas to 34 percent in the first half!! They still haven't won on the road, and it still sucked that they allowed Dallas to come back like they did, but let's be happy for once. They needed a big win tonight and they got it!

If you were at the game, it must have been sick! I really want to hear about it, so send me your recap of the game so everyone can see it. E-mail me at pradam@brandeis.edu.

More tomorrow, but for now, I can be happy studying for my final!

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Open Thread: Game 17

Regular Season Game 17
Mavericks (12-4) vs. Wizards (6-10)
Verizon Center
7 PM

This would be a great game to have.

The Mavericks, winners of 12 in a row, come into Verizon Center tonight. I’d say a little more about this game, but I think it’s obvious how big a win would be for the Wizards. It also doesn’t help that I’m in the middle of finals week.

On another note, thanks to the commenters that pointed out that Eddie Jordan signed an extension this summer. Total oversight on my part and I can’t believe I forgot about that. It doesn’t mean he can’t get fired, but it makes it unlikely in the first year.

As a clarification, I’m not necessarily saying the Wizards need to fire Eddie Jordan RIGHT NOW. It’s still really early in the season, and the Wizards got off to a similarly bad (12-18) start last year. There’s still a lot of time to turn things around. Instead, my main point was that I’m not sure Eddie is the best guy to get the Wizards to the next level. Eddie’s a fantastic offensive mind, and it’s no coincidence that the Wizards had the top scoring trio in the past two years with different personnel (Butler replacing Hughes last year). His in-game tactics, especially his substitution patterns, can be baffling at times, but I don’t think they’ve played a major role in costing the Wizards more than one game (the Cleveland one) this year. At the end of the day, the players have really struggled with late-game execution. There’s nothing Eddie could do about the team’s inability to score against Houston late in the game, for example. However, it’s clear so far that the defense is no better than last year, and it doesn’t even seem like its getting better. I wrote in my preview that the Wizards needed to get that ranking to 15th to have a chance at 50 wins. It hasn’t happened so far, and for that reason, the Wizards may need to get someone on the bench (assistant or head coach notwithstanding) that can teach the team the discipline needed to play good defense.

Mavericks Blogs: Mavs Moneyball, Rebel Ballin

As a reminder, if you’re going to the game tonight (especially if you're the one I had a subtle dig at in the post yesterday) send me an e-mail at pradam@brandeis.edu with an eyewitness report. I’ll post it up tomorrow in a separate entry.

Prediction: Wizards 107, Mavericks 105 (I know, but it’s been a long week and I need to have some optimism here)

If you’re online during the game, give a shout!

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bulls 112, Wizards 94: At the risk of sounding like a broken record...

Admittedly, I didn’t follow one second of this game in any way. I guess it’s a good thing that happened.

112 points to the Bulls? Are you serious? The same Bulls that scored 72 points against a mediocre Lakers defense earlier this year? Quite simply, that’s about as bad as it gets.

I actually felt there have been times this season where the Wizards were on the verge of turning a corner defensively. Even on their horrendous recent road trip, they had a couple games where they held teams to around 40 percent from the field. These games coincided with horrendous offensive performances, but you had to think the offense would come around.

Now, the Wizards come back and throw up two defensive performances like this? I really don’t get it. Chicago doesn’t have much offensive talent at all. They rely simply on looking for holes to drive and kick outside for open jumpers. They have nobody who can score consistently in the post, and they have nobody (save for Ben Gordon at times) that can consistently break down a defense off the dribble. As a defense, all you really need to do against the Bulls is adhere to the basic defensive fundamentals of contesting shots, moving your feet, and rotating quickly as a unit.

If the Bulls are shooting 60 percent for the first half and 50 percent for the game, then the Wizards screwed up the most basic defensive elements. It seems like any team can get an open shot on this defense if they just make 3 or 4 passes. This would make sense if the Wizards had a ton of slow plodders on their team, but the only person that really fits this description is Antawn Jamison.

The problem then has to be coaching. I’ve usually been an Eddie Jordan supporter because he’s been the guy to take the Wizards to the playoffs the past two years. But this whole situation feels like the Don Nelson situation in Dallas. Nelson was a fantastic coach and did great things to pull Dallas up from the bottom of the Western Conference, but his teams never played defense and only significantly improved once Avery Johnson took his place. Jordan is a great offensive mind, but I'm not sure he’s the type of guy that can get the Wizards better defensively. Just like Don Nelson ultimately wasn’t the guy to take Dallas to the next level, so to is Jordan not the guy for the Wizards.

What this team really needs is a fiery young hotshot who isn’t afraid to get up in the players’ grill. It’s no secret that the two offensive-minded teams that made great strides in the past two years—Seattle in 05 and Dallas last year—had young fiery coaches in Nate McMillan and Avery Johnson. The Wizards could really use a guy like that who can get in the players' faces and let them know that the team isn't playing to their full potential. Many have said the Wizards could use some toughness in their personnel, but it's much more important to get a tough coach than one tough player. This is what the Wizards really need.

Unfortunately, the coaching market isn’t exactly brimming with these types of guys, so we may just have to hope that the Wizards can get back to where they were at last season. Maybe, when this guy retires, he can then take Jordan’s place.

But coaching change or not, the Wizards clearly need a spark from somewhere. Last year, it was giving Caron Butler more playing time. This year, it might have to be firing Eddie Jordan.

By the way, big stuff is happening with the site soon, so I’m looking to incorporate some eyewitness accounts into the recaps. If you are attending any of the Wizards upcoming home or away games, I’d love it for you to send me an account of your experience at the game to put up on the blog. Even if you're writing in a million different places already, it would be really cool to get an actual eyewitness account on this blog somewhere. E-mail me at pradam@brandeis.edu if you’re planning on attending any future games so we can set this up.

(And yes, I realize this is the same thing the guys over at Blazers Edge do, but I think it's really cool thing.)

Do you think a coaching change is the right move here?

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