The ominous number the Wizards are facing right now is 0. That's the number of games they've won in the past two years when Caron Butler hasn't played. Now that the all-star is going to be out for about a week, the Wizards are going to have to find a way to keep holding off the fast-charging Heat.
So who's going to play? It seems that Eddie is going to go with Jarvis Hayes at small forward, which is not a suprise to anyone here. Obviously, we don't feel like he's the best option, but there's nobody else on the roster that's a true small forward.
One guy who will get more playing time is Darius Songaila, our marquee free-agent signing last summer. Songaila's not a small forward, but it seems like he's finally starting to be the type of guy the Wizards envisioned him being when they signed him.
While Songaila provides a post presence and scoring punch off the bench, Jordan likely will start Jarvis Hayes if Butler can't go tomorrow night, and the coach likely would activate second-year forward Andray Blatche, who was inactive Wednesday.
From that quote, it also appears that Eddie's going to activate Blatche to fill in. It does seem like he's only doing it because there's no other choice, but you do have to wonder what Blatche is doing to get in Eddie's doghouse. His on-court performance doesn't seem to merit being benched, but as sierradave mentioned the other day, there must be something larger at play here. Maybe he's not practicing well, who knows. If that's the reason, I'm behind EJ, but if it isn't, then I don't know what EJ is doing.
Either way, with games on the road next week, the Wizards will need Hayes to finally be competent, and they'll need Songaila to keep providing good minutes off the bench.