By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Eddie Jordan hasn't been mentioned in many circles as a coach of the year candidate, but he has certainly earned respect around the league for the way he's kept the Wizards competitive despite a rash of injuries.
Despite the fact that three-time all-star Gilbert Arenas has been limited to eight games and two-time all-star Caron Butler has missed 20, the Wizards (36-33) remain in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race and have beaten several top teams, including Detroit, Orlando, Boston (twice), New Orleans (twice) and Dallas (twice).
"I think he's doing a great job keeping that team afloat," Pistons guard Chauncey Billups said Sunday night after the Wizards beat Detroit, 95-83. "Those guys believe in him, you can tell. They believe in the system. Whether they're shorthanded most nights or not, they just buy into his system."
Said Detroit Coach Flip Saunders, whose teams are 3-6 against Jordan's Wizards since he took over the Pistons at the start of the 2005-06 season: "They've relied more on that system to dictate how they play. They've stuck in there."
Butler thinks his coach should be up for an award.
"Hands down, I think he's coach of the year," Butler said. "Just looking at the adversity we've been through this season, just somehow, someway, he's gotten the guys together. I mean, he's even managed practices when the coaching staff had to be out there because we didn't have enough healthy bodies. He's done a great job."
UP NEXT: Tuesday at Trail Blazers 10 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980
Wednesday at SuperSonics 10 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980