Bobcats (9-17) at Wizards (6-19)
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Alright everyone, it's time to leave. Please take your GIlbert Arenas related jerseys, banners, and underoos and exit the building. I'll throw out the cups and empty the ashtrays, but y'all gotta get out of here.
Wait, what's that Mike? What do you mean I have a game to cover?
Update: Rashard Lewis is definitely not playing tonight.
Tonight marks the first "real" game in the post Gilbert Arenas era for the Washington Wizards. I discount Saturday's game against the Heat because both the fans and the players were powered through that game on a mixture of vitriol, andrenaline and shock. Now comes the hangover. Tonight the Wizards face a Charlotte Bobcats team that is in disarray and looking to move its own massive contracts off the payroll. Better news for the Wizards? Gerald Wallace is out for tonight's game with a sprained ankle so he will not be available to maim any of our players. So that's good.
Obviously, all eyes tonight will be on Rashard Lewis who is going to held to intense scrutiny. Honestly, I'm less interested in Lewis the player then in how Flip doles out the minutes to our suddenly bloated front line. Does Lewis take away minutes from Blatche or from Howard? Or do we run the "Blatche at center" experiment out once more and further cut into JaVale McGee's minutes? Finally, isn't Lewis just a slightly better player than Yi Jianlian? Don't they represent the same skillset?
Color me confused.
I'll be back later with quotes from Rashard Lewis' pregame presser, Flip Saunders comments, and the finalized starting lineups. Til then, let us pour out a final drink in memory of Gilbert Arenas and once and future SF Alonzo Gee.
- Rashard Lewis will be on the bench but now playing.
- Lewis will moved in much the same way as he was in Seattle, with Saunders moving Lewis between the 3 and 4. My initial assumption was right, as Flip is planning to go small and play Blatche at the 5, Lewis at the 4, and Howard at the 3.
- The followup question "How does this effect JaVale McGee" elicited an interesting response. Flip: "He's still a center."
- Lewis will not be starting in two days, but the opportunity is there for both he and Howard to seize starting roles.
- Flip also said that Lewis would not be as "one dimensional" as he was in Orlando.
- Once again, the need to "have veterans" was emphasized by Saunders in regards to Lewis.
- Expect Hudson to get some burn tonight as Hinrich will not go 48 again. You also might see Howard play a bit of PG.
- No Wall tonight. He has been on the bike, but that's about it.
Rashard Lewis Presser
On moving from a contender to a rebuilding team
Well the goals have obviously changed for me. I have though about it ever since the trade happened. Now my ultimate goal is to get the team into the playoffs, or get the team into the hunt to get to the playoffs.
First reaction to getting traded
First reaction was obviously a little surprised as well as a little upset...Kinda had a feeling of what was going on because of the rumors earlier that morning...So I think I was prepared. Built up a wall to where it could happen to anyone at anytime.
What happened in Orlando
WIns and Losses. I think at the end of the day that's all it comes down to. When you're on a team like the Orlando Magic, an elite team, expectations are very high. Any little mistake is going to be magnified. There was no room for error....Our defense kinda slacked off and I guess Otis felt like he needed change.
Obviously I played mostly the three for nine years in Seattle, and the four for the last three in Orlando. Whatever fits the team best.
On whether he was underutilized
I don't want to say underutilized, you can say...you know when you're on a team like the Orlando Magic some people have to sacrifice and I had to sacrifice some shots. It's not necessarily a role player, but someone has to sacrifice when you're on a team that talented.
Actually, wait. One last poll.