One day later, and I'm still peeved. I tend to be someone that likes to keep things on an even keel, but it's become incredibly hard to do so recently, considering all that's happened.
- The latest word on Caron Butler is that he'll be out for six weeks. That'll take us right into the middle of May, meaning that, if the Wizards somehow find a way to reach the second round of the playoffs, he might come back. I guess that's good news, but most likely, he's not coming back until next season.
Things like this are the devil's work. I'm going to stay positive. It's going to be hard with this injury, but that's what I'm going to do, stay positive.
- So what happens now? How can the Wizards possibly replace Caron Butler? This is a post for another time, but once again, it appears Andray Blatche is going to be a key piece. That is, if Eddie decides to use him well.
- The bad news didn't stop with Butler, as apparently Eddie Jordan has decided, based off one game against the league's worst interior defense, that Etan Thomas is going to start at center for the rest of the season.
Huh? What the hell is "consistent energy?" You see Etan Thomas bouncing around trying to block shots, but I bet you also notice those plays leading to easy offensive rebounds and dunks for the other team. See, if Etan doesn't block the shot, he basically kills the entire defensive rotation, and since he rarely blocks the shot, he is almost always hurting the defense.
There's one play that illustrated this problem yesterday. It's late in the third quarter, and Mo Williams has the ball at the top of the key. Williams makes a quick move to get by DeShawn Stevenson, but he probably made the move too quickly, because Brian Skinner had not cleared out of the lane. All Etan has to do is step up and block Williams' path, and the play is dead. Antawn Jamison decides to stay at home on the other side in order to prevent the open jumper from his man, thinking Thomas will be able to step up.
Instead, Thomas gets lazy, and reacts really slowly to the drive. Instead of taking a direct path to Williams, he lays off him in an attempt to block the shot. Williams simply lofts it up and hits the floater as Thomas jumps to block it. That's an easy basket for an NBA point guard. Instead of coming over to bother the shot with his size and length, Thomas tries to swat at it, which effectively eliminates any potential advantage he has on the smaller Williams.
If Thomas blocks that shot, we're talking about the great energy boost he provides. Hell, even by jumping, it makes it look like Etan is trying harder. Look, he jumped as high as he could, that must mean he's our best option. We wouldn't want someone who isn't trying out there! So yes, that gives you more energy, but it's not the right play. The right play was to get your body over, stick your hands up, and make it a difficult shot for Williams. Haywood, because of his length and superior quickness, would have done that. Thomas, quite simply, didn't, and naturally, Williams scored.
It's true that Haywood is a whining baby and has a bad attitude. But it's also true that he's a much, much better player than Etan Thomas. I would support a one or two game benching to get his head straight, but not a benching for the rest of the season. That's just asinine.
- But wait, there's more bad news. The Heat are very close to becoming incredibly dangerous, as Dwayne Wade returned to practice today. They're saying he's going to be ready to go before the postseason begins.
- BallHype, the new toy of Lowpost creator Jason Gurney, just launched today. It's basically a combination of lowpost, Digg, and something like Facebook or Myspace for sports fans. You can submit stories, vote on games, make friends, create groups, and do lots of other cool stuff. I created a group for Bullets Forever, so feel free to join anytime.
I've got Florida in tonight's championship game. They just have too many bodies to throw at Oden, and if they stick Brewer on Conley, then that'll just seal it. It's going to be a phenomenal game though.
Finally, there are still six series open in the Bullets Forever group project. Please, please, please sign up so we can get them all filled.