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March 25, 2009

Wizards down to 8 players tonight

Bad as the Washington Wizards have been all season, they look to be that much worse tonight against the Bobcats, with just eight players healthy enough to play.

Darius Songaila (sprained neck), Caron Butler (left hamstring) and Juan Dixon (ankle tendonitis) are all out tonight. Obviously the Bobcats need this game in the playoff chase, after playing so badly versus the Pacers Saturday. They've had three nights off so they should be rested and relatively healthy.

I spoke with center Emeka Okafor pre-game about the left-knee soreness that kept him out of practice Tuesday. Okafor said he jammed his knee cap late in Monday's practice while turning to cut off teammate Gana Diop in a drill. Okafor fully participated in shootaround this morning. He said he still felt a twinge or two, but should be fine.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 25, 2009 at 06:32 PM | Permalink


Bobcats trying their hardest to give the game away. In the first half they almost tricked me into thinking they were a playoff team. Then they settled into their usual habits.

Posted by: David | Mar 25, 2009 8:32:22 PM

yeah im sorry i used to be a bobcat fan 5 days ago but now i just don't get it. i think they are playing a game with us. they trick us in the first half by leading by 20 points then in the third quarter score 8 points? that makes no sense. how do you go from 67% shooting to missing all of your layups? this is not just one person this whole team plays awful in the second half! something is wrong and i just dont understand. rick please find out what is wrong! PLEASE!

Posted by: kyle | Mar 25, 2009 9:05:06 PM

What an embarassment. Rick, please stop referring to this team as one of the best 8 in the eastern conference. They've made it clear over the last 2 weeks that they don't belong in the playoffs.

Posted by: David | Mar 25, 2009 9:14:47 PM


The Wizards tried to give the game away and the Bobcats wouldn't take it! Missed free throws killed us!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Yeah? | Mar 25, 2009 9:29:22 PM

wow! thats all i have to say is wow. what a team

Posted by: kyle | Mar 25, 2009 9:29:59 PM


Posted by: Yeah? | Mar 25, 2009 9:30:52 PM

HOORAY! I'm glad this franchise is turning it around under the world-class leadership of guys like Larry Brown and Raymond Felton!

(See? I can be positive!)

Posted by: Michael Procton | Mar 25, 2009 9:41:35 PM

felton once again proves to be hopeless under pressure and when we really needed leadership in the 3rd quarter instead of leading us he makes stupid passes, try's to do too much and costs us the game. typical. At least augustine showed what a great leader is and should be and played calmly hitting big shots and making great plays. get rid of felton and we will be a playoff team.

Posted by: Here we go again | Mar 25, 2009 10:20:16 PM

What a stinker, we should all be disappointed.

Procton, acting like a jerk is why you get called out so often. So don't cry that you're being "attacked" when you go making yourself out to be a sarcastic ass.

Posted by: Bobby | Mar 25, 2009 10:48:02 PM

The next AP story should be "Larry Brown keeps losing". I can't believe a team with coach Brown as their leader is choking.

Posted by: afan | Mar 25, 2009 11:34:22 PM

Felton and Brown have both have praise heaped upon in the last week. And yet here we are again, a mediocre team that can beat good teams when we play well and key players (cough, cough, Felton) play within themselves and the gameplan, yet loses to crappy teams all the same. I'm just tired of reading people fellate those two while dismissing the contributions of steady individuals like Okafor, Wallace, and Augustin.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Mar 26, 2009 12:12:55 AM

You guys need to re-watch the 2nd half again, the refs let the Wiz get away with murder. Knocking players to the floor, no call. Reaching in, no call. Is it any wonder that the Cats settled for jumpers? Procton's last comment made me lol, though.

Posted by: Bro. D. | Mar 26, 2009 12:35:16 AM

DIAW great put back!!! hahaha!!! Nice trade, We really are a better w/ you on this team!!! what a joke:)

Posted by: wil | Mar 26, 2009 12:38:29 AM

Excuses are for losers Bro D. Yea, the game was officiated poorly in my opinion. The cats still had a big advantage in free throws. The game had more to do with the bobcats poor decision making than the refs whistles.

Was anyone touching Diaw when he missed a layup that would have won the game?

Posted by: David | Mar 26, 2009 1:44:08 AM

You are correct Procton, 100% correct. Wallace's two missed free throws at the 4 minute mark and last missed free throw and Okafor's 2 of 4 showing from the line and missed point blank put back to win the game were such great steady contributions. In addition, Okafor gave up an offensive rebound at the 3:30 mark that led to an easy put back for the Wizzards. Those steady contributions down the stretch, in additon to Felton's two missed free throws, really helped us last night.

Posted by: Mason | Mar 26, 2009 8:42:04 AM

Another night, another poor-shooting effort from Felton. And another awful loss.

Again, I'll just keep saying the same things. This team is below average, and we have the same roster locked up for the next 3 years. We've had Okafor, Felton, and Wallace as our core for a 4th season. And for a 3rd straight season, there is no improvement in the win column.

Posted by: BobsRealist | Mar 26, 2009 10:23:40 AM

Why do the majority of people on here always blame Felton when the cats lose? If he was the only reason the cats lose then why were we not winning with Mcinnis LOL or why did we not get in the playoffs with Knight? Seriously tho every player plays there part in a loss and a win, granted some more than others but you never realize what you have got until its gone and i'll bet if Felton does leave then you will see he is a very solid top 15 point thats hard to replace. Hes not amazing and not without faults but solid none the less.**now waiting for Procton to sh!t all over this**

Posted by: Vieira Bhoy | Mar 26, 2009 10:49:17 AM

The point is Procton that nobody played well last night. You're a hypocrite if you say that Felton and Brown (unc guys hint hint) get all the praise, but refuse, just out right REFUSE to take a realistic look at the rest of the team. Okafor is no better at center than Felton is at PG. Most people get that. Most people also recognize you're petty hatred for a guy just because of the school he goes to. Go ahead and spend hours looking for obscure stats to make your argument. We all know how you'll get it wrong and ignore some vital piece of the information.

Posted by: Bobby | Mar 26, 2009 11:28:26 AM

Bobcats are a disgrace. Just when they are about to finally get some love from the city by making playoffs, they choke against Washington and Minnesota.

What a bunch of losers.

Posted by: ChokeCats | Mar 26, 2009 11:42:59 AM

David, you're a douche.

Posted by: Bro D. | Mar 26, 2009 1:03:40 PM

Right, Mason. Nobody played well. But I didn't see a front page spread on Okafor's rapid improvement or on the calming influence Gerald Wallace's toughness has given to the team. Felton sure got one, and a full blog post to boot.

As for why we didn't make the playoffs with Knight running the show (despite the fact that he's STILL a better PG than Felton will ever be), our payroll was about half of what it is now.

Oh, and Okafor has been discussed as an All-Star possibility in each of the last two seasons. Further, he's one of seven players averaging a career double-double in the ENTIRE NBA. Tell me what makes Felton as good as Okafor.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Mar 26, 2009 2:50:23 PM

If we can cut a deal with Tapscot and send May packing, that would get the Wizards up to 10 players

Posted by: mike | Mar 26, 2009 3:19:44 PM

Okafor has been discussed as a possibility because centers are difficult to come by. I like the guy and respect his talent, but he's not exactly a game changer. Point guards have a lot of responsibility, not all of it reflected in the stats.

The point is, and always will be, that Procton is incapable of holding a fair view of Felton or Brown because they went to UNC. Brown has this team playing better than ever, but Procton only brings him up when the team loses. Maybe the team isn't playoff ready, and maybe it is, but you can't realistically deny that Brown has brought improvement.

Felton got a cover story because he went to UNC and UNC sells papers in North Carolina (I wonder why). So what? That's just life Procton. Get over it

Posted by: Bobby | Mar 26, 2009 3:26:51 PM

the "realist" said:

Again, I'll just keep saying the same things. This team is below average, and we have the same roster locked up for the next 3 years. We've had Okafor, Felton, and Wallace as our core for a 4th season. And for a 3rd straight season, there is no improvement in the win column.

I'll keep repeating the myself too I guess. The roster is completely different now than it was at the beginning of the season. Looking at the complete season record is UNREALISTIC. You're talking about two different rosters homey. You're also talking about Wallace, Okafor, and Felton playing for 3 coaches in 3 years. When are you going to change your name to


That seems more fitting don't you think?

At least you dropped your tired argument that we should be thinking championship. Every team wants a championship, but most have to start by getting some playoff experience.

Posted by: Bobby | Mar 26, 2009 3:33:52 PM

We got hacked under the basket when G-Force missed that last FT. But it shouldn't have come to this. Very sad.

Posted by: I sit near Buzz | Mar 26, 2009 4:17:30 PM

And you wonder why Procton could not HACK it at UNC it is pretty obvious

Posted by: Ht | Mar 26, 2009 4:30:54 PM

Isn't that nice, to see "fans" jumping on the opportunity to celebrate a very disappointing loss? With such "fans", who needs enemies... I mean, of course, Michael P., the Negativist-calling-himself-Realist, and others like them. The whole team was incredibly bad in the second half (especially the third quarter). ANY team has a bad game, here and there. But this kind of failure happened to the Bobcats in three must-win games in the last two weeks. All I can say is that Larry Brown's Bobcats can do better than that, that they are good enough to beat the Wolves, Pacers and depleted Wizards, and their record should've been 34-37 now, had they performed as well as they are capable of.
They choked, they miserably choked three times in the last two weeks, because they are not mentally ready to win and storm into the playoffs - not because they can't play. That's how I take Gerald's statements after last night's defeat; not as excuses, but as a reflection of this insufficient mental toughness and readiness to be winners when it matters most. It's not "because of Felton" (regular proctology), or because ALL the main starters aren't good enough (as per the Negativist-"Realist"). Rick Bonnell said it: being in the chase for playoffs is a new experience for this team.
So, let's take it as an experience, which will harden the guys, and make them readier to take again on this challenge, but successfully next season - when also the early part of the season should put them in a much better position to become a playoffs team.

Posted by: Sandy | Mar 26, 2009 5:26:37 PM

Leave it to Proc the Croc to make sure this is a anti-unc blog. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Posted by: sam | Mar 26, 2009 6:16:37 PM

Procton your town and your parents and employer must be proud of your accomplishments

Posted by: jeff | Mar 26, 2009 6:40:19 PM

Can you reference some stats to back up your claim Bro D? I feel like you might be onto something, but I'm not sure I have a complete grasp for the metrics you're using... thanks in advance!

Posted by: David | Mar 26, 2009 7:24:46 PM

Brevin Knight is a career backup (a good one) for a reason. The Bobcats had the most success in his tenure when he played the lowest amount of mintues for a reason.

Felton getting one legit positive story focused on him in 4 years is nothing to go in a tizzy over if a person is being rational. Furthermore when looking at the reality that this is the first legit pg coaching that he has had in 3 coaches, it is even sillier to not recognize the relevance of the story.

I said this a week or so ago, but the reality is that for as great a job as LB has done, he has overused the starting lineup and not taken advantage of opportunities to rest them. There has been a cumulative effect w/ guys continually playing heavy minutes through pain, even in blowouts. While there can be nerves that screwed them in some instances, in others it's been a matter of wearing them down.

Hopefully in the offseason, they all will get a chance to gel and LB will work a lot with the bench as well. As depth will be key in not repeating the late season "fade" that they are experiencing.

Beyond that, there must be work with Boris on finding that balance b/w the unselfishness that makes him great and his willingness to take good shots consistently. Beyond not hesitating on clean pick and pop looks, his ability to make plays in the post could do a lot for the offense's consistency. As we still don't have a guy that we can dump it down to with his back to the basket and say " make an offensive move and get us a bucket." It puts more pressure on everyone to "make plays" when you don't have this. I think when he wants to, he can.

Posted by: jperry | Mar 27, 2009 3:29:54 AM


I think we just have to agree to disagree. I don't care if we squeak into the playoffs while being 7 games under .500. That's not what I want from the team, and I'd say there's a large fan base that agrees with me. I think you build the team to win a championship, and if you're building it for any other reason, you're wasting your time. If you're content to see them just make the playoffs but have no realistic chance to win anything, that's your choice.

And yes, everyone knows the roster is completely different, we have a new coach, May/Morrison missed seasons, we needed a scorer, we needed a big man....etc., etc. My point is, you can always come up with an excuse for why they haven't won. But they haven't. Check the standings. What's not realistic about that?

Posted by: BobsRealist | Mar 27, 2009 10:50:17 AM

But at what cost "improvement," Bobby? [All that "improving" is going to put us what, two games better in the standings?] We've added MILLIONS in the player and coaching salary budgets, as well as handcuffing ourselves in future years. And what if the team doesn't do well again next year? Brown will sail off into the sunset and we'll be back at square one again.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Mar 27, 2009 2:54:33 PM

They played poorly. It was very disappointing, especially because we needed the win (and should have got it over the injured Wizards). That being said, anyone who says the Bobcats aren't improving isn't paying attention.

Posted by: Elizabeth | Mar 29, 2009 9:13:02 AM

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