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What needs to be done?


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How do we lose to teams like the Mavs without Dirk and the Nuggets without Melo? It looks like our team still hasnt jelled yet. We destroy the Lakers and then lose to the Bobcats. Am I the only one that see's this going on? Is there a problem or is it just me?

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Well we all knew this team was built specifically for the playoffs.


Right now we're 7-2 against the top teams we've played (Orlando, Boston, LA, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta).


Against the bad teams, or under-manned teams, it's pretty much just effort and luck. Last night there wasn't much effort until the last 30 seconds or so. Mo couldn't handle Billups (but Delonte shut him down when he was in) and Nene and K-Mart torched us (but Shaq only played 16 minutes). And it still came down to some pretty lucky shots from Martin and Afflalo down the stretch.


Against the Dirk-less Mavs, Tim Thomas got 23 points.


In a 7-game series (which is all that matters for this team), the adjustments would be made to solve those kinds of problems, so I don't think there's any real concern. As long as we keep beating the good teams, I'm ok.

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I say we trade Hickson, Powe will be coming back soon. although we don't know if or how much he will contribute, but we do know that he will be ready for the playoffs and I would personally prefer him over Hickson.

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I'd only trade Hickson if we get an all-star PF back. Luckily that seems like it might be possible...


From Windhorst


PORTLAND, Ore. -- It is open season on some Washington Wizards right now -- Gilbert Arenas for critics and Antawn Jamison for trade speculation.


The Cavaliers and their fans only seem to care about Jamison, the talented stretch power forward with high character who seems destined to be traded as his team attempts to start anew.


It isn't a certainty, but several league executives said this week that the Wizards are listening to offers for every player on their roster and not ruling any sort of deal out.


"If you're running a team you can either sell success or you can sell hope but that's about it," said one high-ranking executive. "They've got a new owner coming [in Washington] and right now they sure can't sell success so you can understand why they are looking at some options to have hope by the [trade] deadline. You expect them to look at all their options to do it."


So where does that leave the Cavs and Jamison? Unlike so many trade scenarios between teams that crop up during every season, there is a natural trade that can be made. The Cavs can offer the Wizards salary relief by trading Zydrunas Ilgauskas straight up for Jamison, thus getting the Wizards off the hook for the $28 million.


That's not a deal that makes basketball sense, of course. But almost no trades that are being made these days are for talent reasons. With the Wizards thinking about re-making their team, moving the 33-year-old to give them flexibility actually makes some basketball sense over the long term in addition to big financial savings starting next year.


But it will not be that simple. The Wizards will probably want more, perhaps a prospect like J.J. Hickson and maybe even draft picks. The Cavs, of course, won't want to pay that price and may demand Ilgauskas be released as part of the deal. Because $28 million is still $28 million.


So there you have the basic negotiation.


The Wizards they may not want to even think about making a trade to help the Cavs, who have so much bad blood with them. Frankly, though, Washington may not end up having much of a choice, especially if it is committed to reducing future payrolls.


"There's no way the Wizards will want to make that deal with the Cavs," one general manager said last week. "It may come down to a tough decision because in reality there's not a lot of places they can send him if they want to get cap space. That's why it may not happen until the very last minute, they'll search for other options."


In other words, it isn't trading Jamison that's hard. It's trading Jamison for value that's tough. Trading him for straight cap relief, which may be the best thing for the team, is even tougher.


There's just not many potential suitors willing to offer expiring contracts. Simply put, teams aren't in the mood to take on that kind of money even for a forward who is still playing at an All-Star level.


The Dallas Mavericks don't mind taking on money and they had Jamison in the past. They also have some expiring contracts, so that's one legit option. The Orlando Magic have lots of assets but no expiring contracts and have a Jamison clone already in Rashard Lewis.


The Golden State Warriors are in the same position as Orlando. They have assets but not the expiring contracts. Plus would the Wizards trade the extremely loyal Jamison to the wasteland that is Golden State? Some think not.


The Houston Rockets have the ammo, namely the expiring Tracy McGrady contract, but they seem to be more interested in Caron Butler than Jamison because they have good power forwards on already on their roster.


But with all of those destinations there's no obvious deal. Except for the Cavs.


After those options, there's just a horde of teams that either are protecting cap space, don't have real assets (available young talent, expiring contracts) or aren't willing to spend the money Jamison will be making for the next two years.


Things change fast in the NBA. There's lots of executives who are creative and there's always the option of three-team trades that open up more chances. But until further notice, there's reason to speculate the Cavs and Wizards could end up doing business for one of the prime properties on the market.




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