Well…Gilbert Arenas is out again tonight. I was somewhat surprised to hear the news, and initially, thoughts of increased concern entered my mind. Then, Phil Chenier was asked his thoughts. Essentially Phil said that Gil is coming off his first surgery, and he still is getting used to this concept. Arenas has some physical and mental hills to overcome. So, if sitting out two nights in a row is happening now, just consider it part of the process. If Gilbert is having these same issues in January/February, then let’s start to worry. Thank you Phil for balancing this out.
Now another thought on this…..obviously, we are looking for others to step up here. And actually, we were really looking for the players to step up starting with game 1. Now, hands are a little bit forced….a slight squeeze can be felt. Eddie Jordan gets to find out who on the Wizards will squeeze back. If this team expects to make any noise at the end of the year, we sit through these growing pains now.
8:27 – Brendan Haywood picks up his second foul. You know that squeeze? It can happen game to game also. Eddie leaves him in.
7:50 – Four Wizards stand around as Andre Miller misses a lay-up on an unexpected fast break (Caron got blocked on his own fast-break layup attempt on the other end). Miller then gets his own rebound and puts it back in…Haywood pretty much let him go cause he didn’t want to pick up a cheap 3rd foul. 9-4 Philly
Eddie doesn’t wait too long, gets Blatche in the game for Brendan. The Wizards have shown some game slippage on defense so far…not protecting the basket and giving up some second chance points to the 76ers.
Antawn starts off 1-5 and Caron has to go to the locker room after catching a bow to the nose.
5:27 - Very smooth righty baseline hook by Blatche. Yes, a smaller Andre Miller was on him, and he was about 6-7 feet away when he shot it….but it was a smartshot because he took advantage of the mismatch while staying in a spot on the floor where the Sixers could not double without paying the price.
3:53 – Blatche helps with back-court pressure from the Sixers, gets the ball, and takes it from about center court right through the lane for a sweet lay-in with the And1. If I played the Takeover by Jay-Z now, would Andray hear it? 15-12 Sixers.
2:53 – Andray is on fire…(yes, Takeover is still playing)…baseline J. Work that area of the court young fella.
2:09 – Blatche with a nice up and under move to create separation….gets himself behind the basket, but finds Jamison for a wide-open lay in. Damn, kid can pass like that? Wiz down 2.
Butler is back in the game…had a scratch on his nose. Don’t make Tuff Juice bloody, he’ll just make ya bloody back.
:52 - Nick Young jumper…you’ve officially broken your NBA cherry, not when you score over 15 for the first time, but when you come to play the very next game. Lotta time left. The quarter closes out with the Wizards down 2, 26-24.
At the very end of the quarter, Antonio Daniels took a hard shot from Reggie Evans…a little bit of a dirty play. Evans was going to set a pick and moved his hip right into AD’s chest. Coming from anyone else, it’s just a moving screen. Coming from Reggie Nut-Cracker Evans, it’s a dirty play. AD seems to really be hurting. Damn, and I was just on the Bullets Forever pre-game post commenting that I hope Evans wouldn’t “maim” any of the Wizards. Reggie Evans is good at 3 things: Horse Play, Rebounds and Ass Play. He’s already done two tonight…hope he doesn’t do to Andray what he did to Chris Kaman.
9:58 - Dunk by Blatche….he’s made all 6 of his shots now. Should I pick him up on my fantasy league team, pronto?
8:42 – Eddie takes Blatche out…Phil wonders out loud about taking a hot player out. Haywood comes in, along with Songaila, Caron, DeShawn and Nick Young. Thing is…Haywood needs to be back in because you gotta keep him in the flow of the game. And Songaila hasn’t been on the floor that long, can’t take him out. With the 76ers game personnel, our guards had to stay in. And well…as Phil puts it, perhaps Andray just needs a blow.
6:26 – 41-34 Wizards, Sixers timeout – the Wiz are playing with a lot more energy….17-8 run to start the second. You really have to credit Nick Young and Andray Blatche with creating the spark for the rest of the team.
AD is back in the game for Young. Say what you want to say about the guy, he is never afraid to put his body on the line.
4:17 – DeShawn with a double clutch lay-in… And1 – Wizards up 46-40. The past couple games, in these Wizards wins, Stevenson has been….what’s the word?….”selective”…ahh, thank you again Phil Chenier. I mentioned it in the second Wizards live blog of the year, the Celtics game, and I’ll say it once more: I love the Wizards TV guys….perfect combo of team knowledge, much less NBA knowledge, along with the game calling intensity provided by Steve Buckhantz.
2:14 - Timeout on the floor, the Wizards are up 7…might I say, that this team seems to be playing with a little Swagger?
2:04 – Nice jam by DeShawn….set up by Andray’s pass.
1:25 – Three by DeeShawn!
1:06 – Another 3 by Stevenson! 57-42, You think he caught the Black Snake Moan photoshop?
:12 – Ouch. Out-under monstrous lob to Sam Dalembert.
:00 – Antonio Daniels drives…kicks to Blatche in the corner for the THREE at the buzzer!! Wizards up 60-44.
Lovin’ it Wizards. What a half! Chew on these stats:
Andray Blatche: 16 points (7-8 shooting), 3 assists, 4 rebounds
DeShawn Stevenson: 10 points, 5 rebounds
Bench Scoring: 26 points
Wizards: 58% FG; 76ers: 45%
Wizards: ZERO Turnovers.
I almost dare say that Antonio Daniels should start in Stevenson’s place when GA comes back. He’s a competent game manager…not only does he take care of
the ball himself, but he is actually effective in limiting the turnovers, or bad possessions for the whole team. Problem is, between Gil and AD, who exactly is going to start off guarding the opposing 2 guard? We love AD’s energy off the bench, but something has got to be said about him coming in while Gilbert has sat out and setting the tone.
Steve Buckhantz can’t keep talking about this ‘holding opponents under 90 points or less’ thing: …only 5 games all last year did the Wizards hold the other team to less than 90….it’s happened 5 out of 9 times this so far year. And you know what? I can’t blame him.
9:44 – Dee-Shawn J…please tell me this is his coming out party for this season. Ernie gave you the loot, now the team really needs you to step up.
8:46 – AJ jumper…he started out 1-5, he’s now 5-12 from the field.
8:12 – Yet another 3 for Dee-Shawn Stevenson. If the Takeover is being played for Blatche, what should Dee-Shawn’s song be? You know….I think “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette would be appropriate…..”It’s like raaaain…..” (I know, you thought I was going to choose some wack rapper like Gucci Mane or Hurricane Chris)
Wait, Steve Buckhantz just said that Arenas is still donating $500 tonight for the Scoring for Schools program. $500? That’s it? That’s only a 5 point game GA. Shouldn’t you at least give your average?
6:57 – Another 3 by Stevenson….and we just got the first “Are you kidding me? ” from Steve Buck.
6:28 – Stevenson pops a heat-check 3 miss…..holy crap, Haywood is here too? – an offensive rebound and put back for BTH.
Jamison three, now this getting silly. The Wizards are up 80-51. I can’t even keep up with the typing. They are almost taking the crowd out of the game. I can’t hear anyone…..are they too shocked to cheer? Do we need to go to Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room to make sure he hasn’t passed out? Timeout Sixers.
The Wizards are shooting 62% for the game so far.
Uh oh, Haywood is going back to the locker room with 4 minutes left in the quarter.
Yes, the Wizards are coming out of a shooting slump…but there are reasons for this beyond just happening to be hot – They are passing the ball, 20 assists so far, and they’ve been active for the entire 94 feet….giving them more chances on offense.
1:15 – A turnover by the Wizards, the yungins, after some Sixers pressure. C’mon, use this opportunity to learn.
Louis Williams has been impressive tonight. He might be a fantasy sleeper too, I’ve been keeping an eye on his playing time.
:03 - Speaking of….”Sweet” Lou Williams for 3 – 18 points for the game, 13 in the 3rd.
Wizards up 98-68…had some chances to break a hundo after 3.
10:46 – Blatche pump fake, spin, and reverse lay-in. It’s what people refer to as a “Pro Move.”
10:27 – Nick Young “Sprites” an alley-oop attempt, but the energy of Andray is there for the put-back.
Haywood is out for the rest of the game…a sprained ankle. The fact that he was able to walk to the locker room means that he should be okay, just a precaution. The Wizards are up 30 points.
7:51 – Wizards get lazy and a pass I believe by Nick Young, gets deflected out of bounds by the 76ers. You can clearly see, and hear, AJ go up to Young and say, “C’mon Man!!” – good to see Antawn being vocal with the kids.
You know what’s funny….the same cats on Wizards Insider who were so negative at the beginning of the season, especially in regard to Eddie Jordan, are probably riding high now….saying that they believed this whole time. You hear this said to players all the time, maybe fans should listen up also: ‘You can’t get too high or too low with wins and losses until it’s all said and done.’
Even though it’s a blowout, both teams are still playing hard. A lotta young guns in a fight for playing time on both ends.
3:20 - Wizards 110-90, Sixers have been on an 18-8 run. The Wiz need their young guys to finish this game without trying to “get theirs.”
They sure aren’t handling the pressure well with a steal and dunk by Philly.
2:03 - Nice push pass by D-Mac to D-Song for an easy lay-in. McGuire has taken advantage of his time in the game.
1:11 – Rodney Carney with a pretty scoop lay-in after he rebounds his own miss. I remember him being a beast in that college dunk contest. Let’s see if we can’t check out some of his highlights, here is Carney’s college senior highlight video from Memphis.
The game closes out…unfortunately, the 30 point lead was cut to 15 as the Wizards won 116-101. And that’s the only negative thing I’ll say. A great all-around game from everyone…coaches and players.
If you want the stats, check the box score. I’m going to sit back and enjoy this one.
I’ll be out of town for the next two games (at Charlotte tomorrow and at home vs. Golden State on Friday), gotta take care of some family biz. But I’ll try to have some guest bloggers for the games, and who knows maybe I can find a TV where I’m going.