In yesterday's fourth quarter, Zydrunas Ilgauskas helped the Cavaliers pull away. He scored at will against Etan Thomas and Michael Ruffin, using his incredible size advantage to simply shoot over them. Meanwhile, the entire time, Brendan Haywood, who so bothered Big Z in last year's series, sat tethered to the bench.
Even Big Z was surprised by Eddie Jordan's decision.
The good news is that, a day after saying he'd play a 5'2'' guy on Ilgauskas if that guy "played hard," Eddie seems to be having a change of heart.
Clearly, 7-foot-3 Zydrunas Ilgauskas had his way with the shorter Thomas, Darius Songaila and Michael Ruffin during that key stretch of the fourth and we all remember that Haywood at gave Ilgauskas problems in last year's series.
"There could be a change, I don't know yet. I'm hoping Etan can start out of really well and that we can go with a normal rotation. Brendan has been big off the bench. Now, what he does with that is up to him."
As mentioned earlier, there's a dilemma to playing Haywood 35 minutes a game, because Thomas is a better offensive player, and the Wizards need more post offense with Arenas and Butler out. But there's still no excuse for not playing Haywood the entire fourth quarter. Against a frontcourt as big as Cleveland's, Haywood simply has to play. In the fourth quarter, it was the Cavs bigs that killed the Wizards, not LeBron.
From the wording of that quote, who knows? It doesn't sound like Eddie's totally committed to playing Haywood. But at least now he's entertaining the possibility.