Game 7 Blog: Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers
Troy Murphy is out tonight. Good, we don’t need another 3 point shooter on the court, much less a big man who spreads the floor.
Eddie Jordan is going for his 100th win at the Verizon/MCI Center this evening. Get it for him Wiz.
Despite a turnover on the first possession, the Wiz do good to establish Brendan Haywood inside (just like in the Hawks win) on the 2nd possession for the 1st bucket of the game.
As Phil Chenier noticed, the crowd is filled with anticipation on Gil’s first shot attempt, a 3 point miss. Even on TV, you can sense hesitancy among the fans. Of course, after seeing the camera pan, lotta no-shows or lates at the start. What is DC turning into, LA? Wish the Wizards could elicit the same passion as fans have for the Skins. Guess you gotta get multiple rings for the franchise first.
8:20 - Gil gets on board with his first FG. The Wiz are doing a good job of contesting shots on D so far, save for that wide-open Tinsley 2 pt attempt (and miss) before Gil hit his shot.
7:30 – TO Pacers. Wiz are once again off to a good start, but we’ve seen this before.
Gilbert Arenas is going with the white compression sock tonight. I should be charting his performance based on what he wears…black sock, white sock, no sock.
I sure didn’t know the Wiz were #1 in the NBA in rebounding as a team. Pacers are #2. Coulda fooled me.
6:53 – Offensive foul on Caron. Jeff Foster was set forever.
5:54 – Two offensive rebounds for the Pacers on one possession – somebody has got to be down there helping Haywood….at least everyone should take ownership of blocking out their man. 14-7 Wiz after a Jermaine O’Neal FT.
4:20 - Nice up and under floater by Caron over Tinsley, but the Wiz don’t even think about getting back on D. Tinsley gets down the court by himself and just backs down DeShawn for a bucket with minimal resistance.
Tinsley is really pushing it up the court. And as Phil and Buck have noted, Eddie keeps yelling for the Wiz to get out on the break too. Things get a little sloppy, Wiz timeout, up 20-12, 3:03 left.
Songaila in the game, along with Andray – Gil, Butler and Jamison still in. I really like the potential of this lineup.
Quick TV ad spot for Wizards Singles Night…featuring DeShawn Stevenson. Do you think Lindsay Lohan was invited? Any word on him getting her digits yet? We’re all pulling for you DeShawn. I smell a Black Snake Moan sequel.
1:45 - A little pressure from the Wiz leads to a Blatche deflection and a Gilbert basket…And1. Good, they need to slow this team down. Wiz up 26-14.
Marquis Daniels looks like a soccer player with the pulled up yellow socks.
1:25 - Gil gets his first rest when Antonio Daniels checks in.
:54 – Butler drives to the basket strong and gets fouled, 2 FTs. But the opportunity was created because the Wiz spread the floor and really worked the ball quickly around the horn. Caron drove with 7 on the shot clock, but the wide lane he had made it easy.
At the end of the 1st, the Wiz are up 28-15. Shooting well, 45%, while keeping the Pacers to 25%. The Wiz have missed all of their 3 point attempts, but have only taken 2…so that’s okay.
Another interesting lineup: Blatche, Haywood, Daniels, Stevenson and Songaila. I really like the way that Eddie is mixing it up. BIG front line with 7 ft, 6-11, and 6-9. These guys are going to have to learn how to play with each other anyway.
10:34 - Smooth outside J by Andray, a couple feet inside the 3 point line, top of the key. The Pacers are trying to be more aggressive in going to the basket, but the Wiz are holding strong by making them take tough shots.
You know, we usually see some nice hustle from Blatche, but I would like to see some intensity added into the mix.
8:56 – TO, 34-21 Wizards. Eddie talks about Andray Blatche on TV…saying he will be more on the perimeter, but slashing to the basket a lot….and also looked to as a scoring option. No subs yet.
8:21 – Very strong offensive rebound by Haywood, and a DUNK, over Jermaine O’Neal. Butler and Jamison check back in for Blatche and Songaila. Those two gave about exactly what the Wiz need off the bench. Muchos gracias.
7:56 - Daniels is doing a very nice job managing the game so far…meaning, he’s not trying to do too much. He is forced to drive with the shot clock running down, gets blocked by O’Neal, but that allows Haywood’s hustle swag to take over, get the O board with 1 second on the shot clock, and get fouled…two made FTs.
5:37 - Timeout. Shhh….the Wizards only have 2 turnovers at this point in the game.
Gil back in the game. What’s that, about 8 minutes of rest for him so far? Definitely on pace to be below 40 minutes. We will see.
3:45 – Spoke waaaay too soon, DeShawn gets a bad turnover and then fouls Marquis Daniels on the break.
2:01 - Blatche back in getting blocks, rebounds and feeding Gil for a 3. Wiz up 49-37.
1:40 - Arenas blocks a JUMPER by Danny Granger….a 6’9″ dude. Way to go meniscus!
:52 – Another 3 pointer for Gil! Never thought I’d say that he has a “quiet” 18 points.
:11 - A heat-check 3 by Gil misses everything, but after a Pacers turnover, the Wiz get the ball back. Gil drives to the basket and gets fouled with :00.9 left. He makes the two FTs. That’s 20 points at the half for him. Like I said, quiet….maybe the Hibachi is a slow-cooker tonight.
Nice half Wizards. Up 56-41
Key Halftime Stats:
FG% – Wiz 46.5, Pacers 33.3
TOs – Wiz 3, Pacers 4
FTs – Wiz 13-16, Pacers 6-8
Wizards start with a Jamison 3, after a dump off pass from Gil. AJ only had 2 points in the first half. Good to see Eddie run a play for him at the start to get him going.
10:28 – Wiz run another play for AJ, flip shot and a made two.
9:50 – Gilbert goes for a steal, and misses, on a long out-under inbound pass to Tinsley. Tinsley drives to the basket and creates an open 2, and make, for Jeff Foster.
I’ve noticed a couple other times in this game, much less the season, much less Gilbert’s career, where Arenas has taken a high risk gamble and gotten himself in a very bad position. And maybe he could get away with these gambles a little more in the past….but conside
ring his knee and limited agility, he should really cut down and focus on staying in between the basket and his man….especially when the Wizards have the lead.
TO Wizards….Antonio Daniels gets in the game for DeShawn. After everyone hyped him up after a good game in Atlanta, he sure hasn’t done much tonight.
6:30 – Butler shoots the gap, pokes a steal away, and gets a break-away dunk. Now that wasn’t a bad gamble.
Blatche in (a couple minutes ago for Haywood), and Songaila in for Jamison.
4:57 - The energy brought by those two off the bench forces the Pacers into a 24 second shot clock violation. Only 8 points from the bench so far, but that’s okay if everyone keeps bringing the hustle swag.
TO, Wiz up 75-58.
3:25 – Dunleavy gets his first points of the game, hits 2-3 FTs. He killed the Wiz for 25 points and 12 rebounds in the first game.
2:15 – Daniels goes to the basket hard on the break. Funny play, Dunleavy trips over Travis Diener trying to cover and gets hit in the face by AD’s knee, who in turn, goes down hard. But as usual, a resillient AD gets right up.
Roger Mason Jr. checks in for his first action. So, Gil goes out for the first time in the second half. Wonder how long Eddie will wait to get him back in.
1:19 – Songaila giving some stong minutes, left handed hook good for two.
:59 – Blatche is really all over the place this game, he draws an offensive foul on Danny Granger. Of course, he goes to the basket a little out of control on the other end and gets an offensive foul himself. Patience young man, patience.
:17 – Daniels goes around the screen, gets himself caught in the air, and turns the ball over. C’mon Point Guard! Don’t jump without knowing what you’re going to do.
At one point in the 3rd, Indy went on a 7-0 run, but the Wizards stayed solid and lead 83-66 at the end of the 3rd. I really like the rotation pattern that Eddie Jordan has established this game. The Wizards flow seems much more smooth, with consistent effort and play throughout. Only one thing, that pesky 4th quarter….
After finishing the 1st half shooting 46.5%, the Wiz pushed their game FG% to 50.8 at the end of the 3rd.
And of course, they start the 4th strong on D too…force the Pacers into another shot-clcok violation. 14th TO for the Pacers.
Mason, Haywood, Songaila, Jamison and Daniels start the 4th.
Haywood has done a great job on Jermaine O’Neal tonight. He’s been able to hold his ground in the post and has used his arm length to bother JO’s shot.
10:00 - Gil checks in (for Roger Mason) after about 4 minutes of “game time” rest. That is really key on Eddie Jordan’s part. Rest Gil at the end and beginning of quarters so that he gets that much extra time on the bench in between. Has he done that yet this year?
9:15 – Brendan Haywood just got his 5th double-double of the year: 10 points, 13 boards.
Speaking of…..breathe easy Tarheel fans. Looks like you number #1 team is going to get past Davidson, up 72-67 with 1.4 seconds left.
8:11 – Caron checks in for AD – joins Gil, Haywood, Jamison and Songaila.
7:37 – Gil lobs to Brendan for a dunk, also ends a 5-0 Pacers run.
5:41 - Foul on Marquis Daniels, committed by Gil. Wiz up 93-77.
4:06 - Pacers have just gone on a 7-0 run, aided by a couple bad Wiz jump shots. But Songaila ends it with a jumper as the announced crowd of 12,447 at the Verizon Center was starting to get restless….really? That many fans? What is this, a Hornets game? Damn, DC has some fair-weather fans.
Marquis Daniels has been playing a lot of point for the Pacers tonight. He’s got 16 points on 7-12 shooting to go along with 3 steals. I really liked him as a player in college with the Auburn Tigers. I also remember him playing a lot of PG at Auburn. He’s a lengthy 6-6. I can easily see him filling in at the PG for the Pacers (more than Travis Diener) if Jamaal Tinsley gets hurt, like he usually does. Or, like in this game….where Tinsley has 5 turnovers.
2:47 – Gil missed the 2nd of two FTs, but Blatche keeps it alive, tips it to Gil, who ends up hitting a three. 28 for the game for him, Wiz up 101-86. I know people will be asking, why hasn’t Eddie been playing Andray more? Well…forget about the past, maybe Eddie will now.
1:24 - Haywood checks in for Songaila to ensure lock-down D for the rest of the game. Great game for Darius, 12 points off the bench. Wiz up 103-90.
:55 – Gil checks out of the game.
More than solid win for the Wizards. 103-90 was the final. I couldn’t be happier that they built on that last win against Atlanta.
1) An efficient 30 for Arenas, 9-18 from the field.
2) 11 assists and 3 turnovers for Gil…. 23 assists, 14 TOs total for the team (would like to see the turnovers cut down though).
3) The worst shooting team in the NBA, the Wizards, shot 48.6% from the field.
The Wizards actually looked like a TEAM tonight. And I know that the Pacers aren’t that great, they just lost their 5th in a row…but a dub is a dub. Strong defense, smart offense, and great play off the bench…..sounds like a formula to follow.
They asked Gilbert on the court after the game if the old Gil was “back”….he sheepishly says that hopefully he is. Actually, I hope this is the new Gil. They guy who can get the points we need from him without gunning the ball, and the guy who is directly responsible for distributing the ball to his teammates.
See ya Friday against the T’Wolves.