Okay, so no one is exactly expecting the Wizards to win tonight, Danny Sheridan’s odds on USAToday.com favors the Mavericks by 12. And I’m sure that Eddie Jordan may be giving the “no one outside this locker room thinks you are going to win” speech…actually, do NBA players even need this speech? Especially since there are so many games? I wonder if most all NBA pre-game talks are more technical and strictly about business. I can’t exactly see Eddie Jordan trying to fire a team up.
If the Wizards want to be in this game, the need to stop the penetration of Devin Harris first and foremost. Yea, we know, the Wizards have been trying to protect the basket which has lead to inefficiencies in defending the 3-point line. But, the Wizards would not have to do so much basket protecting, and so much shifting on D, if the dribble penetration was limited.
The Pradamaster on Bullets Forever has an issue with the excuses given by Eddie Jordan in today’s Washington Times article. Prada makes some good points…hell, we all are frustrated with the team defense over the past couple of years. But I saw the article as less of Eddie Jordan trying to make excuses and more of a little politicking for Ernie Grunfeld to seek some help and for Abe Pollin to dig in his pockets to find a means. Yes, guys do need to step up when the chips are down, but you also need to replenish the cupboard after some plates are accidentally broken.
1) Stop/Slow Devin Harris
2) Play with Effort & Energy
3) Step Up and Score — the Wizards need someone other than Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison whom they can depend upon as a scoring threat
Now let’s start the show….
When you get a chance, check out a pretty cool feature on Caron Butler (by Caron Butler) on SlamOnline, a quick hitter on growing up, shoes, and how basketball saved his life.
Jamison starts off on Dirk….if anything, he needs to make Diggler work on the defensive end as well.
9:51 – With Trenton Hassell in the game, Josh Howard is a big 2 guard for the Mavs, tough assignment for Dee-Shawn. Evident when Howard drives by the matador Stevenson for a lay-up, foul by Haywood, And1.
This just in…Steve Buckhantz says that Abe and Irene Pollin have stepped up their ‘Scores for Schools’ effort tonight. Instead of donating the equivalent of 5 points from Gilbert, $500, they are giving a full G tonight. I would say that’s much better, right Gil?
6:55 – Wiz timeout, down 7, 16-9. Dirk is 4-4 on his FGs so far.
6:35 – AJ smells Dirk defensive blood…goes for two. Then again, so does Dirk, pops a J in AJ’s face on the other end.
5:57 – Devin Harris penetration leads to a wide open Hassell jumper.
4:30 – Second and third chances hurt too…inside layup by Howard after two long offensive rebounds. 22-15 Mavs.
Oh yea, I forgot that Josh Howard and Darius Songaila were at Wake at the same time.
Monday Night Football has finally started after lightning delays. 8:52 pm.
3:31 – Butler hits a J to cut the Mavs lead to 3. His FG% has been on point this year.
On thing I’ve noticed is that Dirk really likes to spin and move around (acting like he’s making an offensive move towards the basket) on those high ball screens. The pick and roll is hard enough to guard in the NBA, the refs really need to make sure these guys are set.
Have you voted for your NBA All-Star team today? I’ve changed my tune to ‘Tuff Juice and LeBron, and not the Big Ticket for the starting East forwards.
2:10 – Rebound in traffic by Blatche…but he tries to dribble it up instead of kicking it to AD, who was right near him, and turns the ball over. How many times have I seen Andray do that this year?
People never talk about how agile Dirk Nowitzki is….the guy is a 7 footer!! Well…maybe they do, guess it’s just old news now. Hey, I’m still amazed.
1:36 – Nick Young checks in…and forces a shot with 1:20 left.
:33 – Wizards hustle leads to steal and a Butler dunk. Tie game at 26, 9-2 run by the Wiz. Oh yea, Butler was also the one who caused the steal.
Dirk hits a couple FTs on a bad call….they said that Caron fouled Dirk on a rebound. The 1st ends with the Mavs up 28-26.
Earlier in the quarter, Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier were talking about the June 24th, 1998 draft day trade where the Milwaukee Bucks sent the rights to Dirk Nowitzki (9th pick) and Pat Garrity (19th pick) to the Dallas Mavericks for Robert “Tractor” Trailer (6th pick). Steve was saying essentially that he doesn’t know how the responsible GM could now sleep at night after making that trade. Then….he started to realize that Ernie Grunfeld used to be the GM for the Bucks and chuckled, hoping that Ernie wouldn’t hold it against him if he was the GM who actually made the trade.
Well….we should all know that our Ernie is way too savvy to clown like that. Bob Weinhauer was actually the Bucks GM at the time, the coach was Chris Ford. They were later replaced by George Karl and Ernie Grunfeld. But I do believe that the same Bob Weinhauer was GM of the Houston Rockets when they won one of their championships. So, I’m sure he’s sleeping somewhere.
8:20 – DeShawn 3-pointer. The Wizards are playing a tad bit sloppy…but VERY scrappy, with energy and hustle swag. They are up 35-30. Wiz have 5 turnovers, but have forced the Mavericks into making 8. (of course, the Josh Howard 3, And1, at the other end doesn’t help…Wiz only up 1
7:36 – Blatche gets a lay-up, And1…but only after bobbling a dribble, almost making a bad pass, and somehow recovering the ball in the open lane. He has got to learn how to take better care of the ball. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have Tiny-Tim hands like Kwame “Slap-My-Face” Brown, but he does need to strengthen them, a lot.
I’ve always heard that a big reason as to why Larry Bird and Michael Jordan with the #1 over all. It seems like all Michael Jordan would’ve had to do was look at the damn kid’s hands….and if they didn’t raise enough red flags, just give him a simple psyche test..maybe the were such great players was the size and strength of their hands. This isn’t something that people talk about that often. Which makes me all the more baffled when it comes to MJ selecting KwameWonderlic…or whatever. Seems like you could easily find out he was a baby who would cry for his bottle when slapped. And another thing I always wondered: what exactly did Kwame Brown do to make MJ slap him?
5:08 - Jason Terry missed an open J…and Dirk was definitely moving around when trying to get him open. Wiz up 39-36.
And now the Wiz have caught up to the Mavs in turnovers..even at 8.
4:01 – After turnovers by him on two consecutive trips, Haywood gets great position and draws a charge on Josh Howard, his 3rd.
3:07 - The score is still stuck at 39-36….lotta turnovers and pig slop. 6 turnovers between the two teams since the last points (Nick Young FTs with 5:48 left).
2:28 - Dirk back door, gets the pass, gets the dunk. He definitely gave a nice push-off to Jamison…even though AJ was over-playing a tad.
1:26 – Mavs have made a little run, Harris hits two FTs after getting fouled on a break. Mavs up 45-41 now. Daniels isn’t doing a bad job managing the game so far, but his jumper isn’t falling like I remember it falling last year.
1:04 – They finally got the Mavs moving on a screen, Erick Dampier.
Antonio Daniels hits a big running baseline layup with 3 seconds left to put the Wizards up 2 to end the 1st half….and wait a tech has been issued to Devin Harris. He tried to drive the length of the court for a shot in the remaining seconds….Jamison made a smart move to go to the spot where he thought Harris would be, near the top of the 3-point line, and stood his ground….Harris went up for a running three, and there was contact….. but like I said, Jamison had his spot. So, the right call was a no-call. Guess Devin didn’t agree.
- Wiz hot shooting is the story. They are at 48.5% while holding the Mavs to 40.5%.
- From watching, Devin Harris seemed relatively contained…then again, the kid has 7 assists and 0 turnovers.
- Getting out-rebounded 23-15 by the Mavs is not good…even worse that Dallas has 9 offensive boards and the Wizards have 1. Let’s go BTH!
- 21 points on 8-10 shooting for Dirk. Can’t do much about that.
12:00 – Caron makes the tech. 1-0 second half run by the Wizards.
Plus, on the first possession, the Wiz get Josh Howard to commit his 4th foul. He goes to the bench early.
8:44 - Another offensive rebound by the Mavs, tip in deuce by Diop after a Devin Harris drive causes Haywood to have to help.
8:01 – Tough shot And 1 by Dirk. He ties the game at 54.
7:54 – Huge AD cut and dunk…AND foul. I see you stepping up with 11 points AD!
6:55 – Dirk misses a 3 and is forced to foul as AD gets the long rebound and tries to push it up the court with numbers. The Wiz are playing with a lot of energy here to start the 3rd…and it seems like the pace benefits Washington. What tired legs?
6:18 - AJ driving one-hand lay-up attempt misses, but he is fouled. The Wizards are doing a great job in getting their offense going towards the basket and not settling for jump shots. AJ makes both FTs, Wiz up 62-54.
Jason Terry can’t hit anything tonight. He’s 0-5 from the field.
5:48 – Stevenson drive to the basket for 2 FTs. 11-0 run for the Wiz. They are 22-24 on FTs, Mavs are 13-13.
5:24 - Butler answers a Dirk 3 point play with a 3. Wiz still lead by 10.
BOOM! Another 3 by Caron Butler. Lead is 70-59. Pressure by the Wiz almost leads to a steal…but actually leads to a Dampier dunk on the other end.
4:12 – Wow, the game is really moving. Jamison hits a scoop shot on both Dirk and Damp, and gets fouled. Missed the FT, Wiz up 72-61.
3:35 – Dammit…Jason Terry finally gets going with a 3. Shhh….
3:06 – Blatche rebound…dribble (uh-oh)…jump (what are you doing in the air?)…and a 3/4 court length baseball pass to Stevenson who makes a pretty spin move for a lay-up.
2:06 – Barea 3. Stevenson J on the other end. Wiz stay up 10, 78-68. Seems like there has been a ton of points this quarter.
Timeout. Wiz up 12. Every time you think the Mavericks are going to make a run…the Wizards go right back down and score, showing some grit fellas.
:47 – GREAT pass by Songaila to a cutting Blatche for a lay-in….a perfectly timed play. Boy, this Jose Juan Barea cat has really come in and provided some energy for the Mavs. He’s scored like the last 8 points for them. Wiz up 82-72 with the ball for the last shot….
“How about Caron Butler??!?!?” says Steve Buckhantz. He hits a-nother 3 with about 4 seconds left. After 3, the Wizards up 85-72. Caron Butler has 27 for the game as the Wiz use the 3rd quarter to extend their lead and boost their FG% to 55.8% (Butler is 10-12).
11:02 – Barea 3 as the shot clock expires…really? He’s got 11 points in about 5 minutes of game time. Mavs down 8. Timeout.
9:55 - Pretty lay-up by Nick Young….the second straight time he’s gotten the rebound, gone coast-to-coast and scored….this time, he had the mis-match with Dampier guarding him.
Young gets another rebound, brings the ball up the court, and drives to the basket. He missed the lay-in, but Blatche was there for the tip. Nice show of confidence from Nick Young. Wiz up 91-77…timeout called and a little boos from the home crowd.
8:25 – Mark Cuban ref conspiracy theory: Songaila pass to a cutting AD, who goes up and gets blocked by Diop…but Diop got AD hard with the body after the shot and AD went to the ground. Terrible no call. Devin Harris goes to the other end on the break and gets an And1.
7:59 – BIG trey by Jamison on the other end. 93-82 Wizards.
Both teams are still scrapping. As Phil just noted, small lineup for the Mavs: Dirk, Howard, Terry, Harris & Stackhouse. Haywood, Butler, AD, Jamison & Stevenson for the Wiz.
6:19 – Haywood HUGE shot, And1 good….set up by a Jamison drive. The real key, Dirk picks up his 5th foul. Wiz up 13.
6:00 – Travel not called on Dirk….eventually Brendan picks up his 5th foul. You going to complain about that in your blog Dancing Queen Cuban?
5:41 – Don’t do it ‘Tuff Juice!!! Another 3 by Butler. Four 3 pointers for Butler in the game, a career high.
5:16 - AJ makes 2 FTs…and the Mavs are forced to bring Barea back in. 104-88 Wizards.
More proof that they Wizards are aggressive in driving to the basket? They have shot 32 FTs tonight, making 26. 23-23 for Dallas.
4:16 - Very poor shot and miss by Stevenson. Thankfully, Stackhouse makes the bail-out and commits the foul on Jamison going after the rebound. Wiz keep the ball. No more shooting for you Dee-Shawn, just act like you can’t feel your hands instead of your face. The Wiz want to keep this game.
4:00 – AJ misses the 2nd of 2 FTs…but scraps, gets his own ‘bound and lays it in.
Dirk goes out with 3:37 left and the Mavs down 17. Is Avery Johnson throwing in the $25 thousand dollar towel?
3:07 – Barea quick 2 lay-in to cut it to 15. This game ain’t over.
At least the Mavs only have 4 offensive rebounds so far in this half, compared to nine in the first…still not good that they’re beating the Wiz 13-5 in that category.
2:10 – DeShawn another missed J. What did I tell you son? FTs for the Mavs on the other end make the run 8-0 and cuts the Wizards lead to 11.
What a crappy MNF game, 11:26 to go and zip-zip is the score between the Dolphins and Steelers. Something tells me that Fast Willie Parker ain’t exactly helping my fantasy team. And Ricky Williams is already hurt? Go figure.
1:30 – Barea again for 2. Mavs down 98-107. Dirk and Josh Howard remain on the bench. Wizards timeout. They’ve missed their last 5 shots. Avery Johnson leaves the two stars on the bench after the timeout.
Sigh of relief…Juwan Howard comes through with a miss on the other end. Wiz have the ball with 46 seconds left….Stevenson misses a shot, of course, but Songaila gets the rebound.
0:04.6 – BUTLER….DAGGERS!!! with another 3 pointer. The Wizards knock off the Dallas Mavericks 110-98.
What an absolutely great win for the Wizards. I’m sure fans everywhere are beaming over this one. The Wizards really scrapped and showed their hustle swag from the get-go all the way to the end of the game, save for that lull at the end of the 4th. But they’d built up such a big safety cushion that it really didn’t matter.
- Did the Wizards contain Devin Harris? I would say hell yes. He did have 7 points, 7 assists, and 0 turnovers at the half….but ended the game by only adding 5 more points to those totals.
- The Mavericks took 21 3-point shots, but only made 3. I really think the misses are the result of much better containment of Dallas dribble penetration. The 3-pointers of the Mavs were much more contested that those in the Warriors or Grizzlies game. Simply put, the Wizards minimized the ground they had to cover in contesting those shots.
- Effort, Energy & Hustle: If I had to rate the Wizards in this area tonight, it would be 9.4 out of 10.
- Buckets! Well, when Jamison and Butler combine for 62 points, you don’t always need a lot of help…but 16 from AD and 13 from Stevenson (albeit, he shot 5-16) does not hurt. I would say that Caron Butler going 13-17 helped the team shoot 50.7% from the field just a little bit.
- But….the Wizards are not going to have this kind of shooting night every game. That’s where they need to improve on getting out-rebounded by the Mavs 43-38 tonight and only having 13 assists to 12 turnovers needs to be improved upon also.
God-Speed Sean Taylor.