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AD is struggling

Ivan Carter and Michael Lee had their weekly Wizards chat for the Washington Post today.  Much of the talk centered around Gil's struggles, Jarvis Hayes, and updates on Caron and Antawn, but one subject addressed a number of times was Antonio Daniels and his struggles.  In the last couple games, Roger Mason has been playing more, and AD has ben playing less.

There were two questions on the subject.

Laurel, Md.: What has happened to Antonio Daniels? It seems that Eddie has lost confidence in him and it really hurts to not have any production from him without Jamison and now Butler.

Michael Lee: Eddie has lost confidence in Daniels because Daniels gave him good reason. Did you see his production in February? Daniels has scored just 23 points and shot 20 percent (5 of 25) in nine games. I can't fault Eddie for sitting him, especially if Roger Mason is giving him something when he plays. Antonio is taking the reverse route from last season, when he had a slow start and came on strong in the second half. But I think once the Wizards' injury issues are resolved and the roster settles, Eddie will lean on him more, especially in the playoffs.

The questioner makes a great point.  Without Caron and Antawn in there, the Wizards need AD's scoring, and his inability to produce hurts even more.

Tampa, Fla.: What did Antonio Daniels do to get in EJ's doghouse? Or was it the result of Roger Mason's recent stellar play?

Ivan Carter: Eddie said he wasn't playing very well. He shot badly in February, Mason's been knocking down shots and Eddie's just searching for the right answers. I'm sure that you'll see AD get his shot here soon but Mason has earned some minutes with his recent shooting touch.

With AD, it just seems like he's been passive offensively.  AD's biggest strength is his ability to knife in the lane, draw fouls, and finish in the paint.  Recently, he's been shooting too many midrange jumpers, and he's not attacking the rim.  He has awful form on his jumpers, he's not a good defender, and with DeShawn Stevenson around, the Wizards don't need his ballhandling as much.  Essentially, if Daniels isn't driving, he's useless.  Roger Mason is a better option than a passive Daniels.

Last year, Daniels went through one of these stretches too.  I'm confident he'll snap out of it, but he's getting older, and the Wizards have better options at his spot this year.