The Washington Times - January 7, 2009, 10:40PM

Another game, another slow start, and more inability to climb out of it because you’re physically and mentally spent from just trying to get even again. That is the position the Washington Wizards again found themselves in tonight.



The trend is getting frustrating for Ed Tapscott, who when asked the moral-victory type of question about his team not giving up, wanted to hear nothing of the sort. “I’m going to take the noble fight-back question and get rid of it,” Tapscott said. “Why were we down double-digits after the first quarter? The night before, why couldn’t you play in the second quarter? I mean, we keep asking these questions. And that really becomes the crux of the issue. There are four minutes to the game, they’re 12 minuets long and they’re the same for everybody. So, somehow we’ve got to find our way to fully play through out the games so we have a chance to win.”


The Wizards were coming off of a back-to-back, but Tapscott didn’t want to hear that as excuse either, saying “Other teams in the NBA play back-to-backs too.”


And Caron Butler agreed: “You look at the Orlando game and we still were upbeat becuase you lost to a quality team on their floor and you competed all the way to the wire. But you come back and you see Toronto, which is a good team, but they’re missing [three] of their key guys, and to come out here, it’s no damn excuse, the back-to-back. To be so flat. It just wasn’t there tonight. It’s just frustrating. As a player, it’s very frustrating.”


JaVale McGee again didn’t see any action, and Tapscott insists the rookie isn’t in the doghouse. “He’s working hard. He hasn’t done anything wrong,” Ed said. But with Toronto’s big men playing more of a non-traditional, perimeter-oriented style, he believed Andray Blatche and Darius Songaila were better suited to check Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh than McGee would have been, because McGee is better playing on the blocks at this point in his young career.


Juan Dixon and Oleksiy Pecherov again didn’t get into the game, either.


Javaris Crittenton played a season-high 27 minutes and did a pretty good job: six assists to go with three steals, three points and no turnovers. Ed said “I think we saw the young fella grow up some tonight. He’s a young player, playing a very difficult position. He’s not going to have any easy nights or easy practices. I thought he played with energy and guarded the ball well. I thought some of our better moments were with him in the game.”


The Wizards have tomorrow off and will travel to Chicago in the afternoon and then will play the Bulls Friday night.