The Washington Times - January 19, 2009, 07:32PM

OAKLAND — The Wizards knew what they had to do today here against Golden State, and they had done a pretty good job of executing the same game plan just three days ago against the New York Knicks, but for whatever reason, they weren’t able to continue the progress, and instead reverted to their old habits and fell 119-98.



They got torched by Golden State from the perimeter as the Warriors made 13-of-12 3-pointers. And then in the late going, the Warriors just started blowing past the Wizards and scoring on uncontested layups.


The Wizards, who became only the seventh team this season NOT to score 100 points against Golden State — which is worst in the league in defense — appeared beaten down from the start of the game, but Ed Tapscott said that the mounting losses aren’t a reason for the listlessness.


“I give myself to staying in the moment. We played a game today. What happened in the past, pretty much irrelivent. What happens in the future, pretty much irrelivent. We have a game for 48 minutes tonight. We have a gameplan, we have the opportunity to execute that gameplan. So, I don’t think anything’s weighing on anybody’s mind. I think Steven Jackson (26 points, six rebounds, five assists) was weighing on people. I think Jamal Crawford (28 points, eight assists) was weighing on people. Andris Biedrins (15 rebbounds, three assists, seven points) was weighing people inside rebounding the ball. That’s what I think was weighing on people tonight, was the Golden State Warriors, who brought more to the table than we did.”


Andray Blatche took some of the blame for the Warriors’ collection of easy drives to the basket.


“I need to talk to Brendan [Haywood] and see how he is able to protect the rim like last year. He’s a very smart player, and always seems to be in the right place, and I need to figure out how to do the same to help my team.”


That right there is the classic example of this Wizards team, they say the right things, know what they’re shortcomings are, but for some weird reason don’t correct their problems.


“Mike, if I, yeah, uh, that’s the key, right there,” Antawn Jamison said when I asked him why that is, especially in the case of the younger players — why they can’t apply the lessons they’re being taught. “It’s one thing to say it. Coach comes in here and preaches it to us. Then we get out there, and act like it’s the toughest thing. Knowing what you have to do, it’s drilled into you. Randy [Ayers] is there saying we need to have someone at the rim. And the lane was just open. We preach and we preach and we preach, and we still find a way to go out there and carry over from what we’ve been doing. You play how you practice, and yesterday’s practice might have been the worst practices of the season. So, we’ve just got to keep our eyes forward, stay focused, man, and continue to play hard as a team.”


So, in other words, he’s just as miffed as everyone watching the Wizards as to why they can’t improve.


The Wizards have the Kings up next on Wednesday, and then after that things get much more difficult with the Lakers, Blazers, Suns and Heat all awaiting.