Game 8 Blog: Washington Wizards @ Minnesota T’Wolves
The Timberwolves, a take care of bi-ness game. Word is that Randy Wittman has all but given Rashad McCants the green light to gun it. Ain’t much going on with Dee-Shawn so far this season, as we all know. But if anything, his year is going to start with Dee-Fence. So, I’m hoping that his hustle swag gets all up in McCant’s grits. Bullets Forever would start Haywood out on Al Jefferson. I would too, as long as AJ keeps Theo Ratliff off the boards.
Go Rule Wizards….One Game At A Time.
Buck says the Wiz haven’t won in Minny since 2000, they are due.
10:41 – Bad pick and roll communication b/t Haywood and Arenas leads to a Jefferson dunk…help defense didn’t even have a chance.
9:28 – Timeout T’Wolves – Wiz are scoring at will, 5-5 from the field so far…and every single shot has been in the paint. Up 10-2, 1 basket for each starter.
8:20 – 3 by Jamison…Wolves are switching on D so Ratliff and guard Haywood. Washington needs to take advantage of the AJ – Jefferson mis-match.
7:02 - Haywood forces a bad shot after getting caught off balance, the miss leads to a fast break, and a 7-0 run for the Wolves. 12-11 Wizards. Haywood can’t afford to get “cocky” about the season he’s having so far. Remember buddy, you got the Big 3. If you don’t have it, PASS IT OUT AND RE-POST.
5:47 – Offensive rebound by Gomes. Caron simply cannot forget about blocking this guy out, he’s a hustle box.
Wiz are in the zone on D….I guess it’s needed more so after Marko Jaric took Gil off the dribble. You do realize he’s a 6’7″ white dude from Yugoslavia, right Gil?
Just over 3 minutes left, Songaila checks in for Haywood…a little bit after Al Jefferson went to the bench.
2:19 – TO – The Wolves have 6 turnovers so far (5 on the last 5 possessions)….mostly from being an inexperienced team since they are not exactly being forced by the Wizards.
Good to see Fatoine Walker still running around on his tippy-toes like a pudgy little sprite.
Seems like every time the Wiz make a nice run and build on the lead, they follow it with a break down where they give the Wolves some cheap opportunities.
Nice end to the 1st, after realizing that Gil had too much separation around the 3 pt. line with the clock running down, the Wolves run two men at him, leaving Songalia wide open under the basket for an Arenas zip pass and quick flip shot for Darius. Wiz up 8, 32-24.
Daniels, Songaila, Blatche, Gilbert, and Jamison on the court.
10:15 – Butler checks in for Jamison, Arenas hasn’t had any rest yet. First of a back-to-back, hmmm….
8:52 – Neither lineup so far has gelled, the Wiz don’t score in 5 possessions, make two turnovers and allow two Fatoine 3s in the process. Lead is cut to 32-30 as Eddie calls a timeout.
Me thinks it’s time for Big Lineup 1.0, as Jefferson has been back in the game since the beginning to the quarter. Thing is, Haywood checked out with 3 minutes left in the first, and we’re well aware of his stamina problems.
Nick Young sighting, he checks in for Arenas so he can get his first rest.
8:11 – after the first Wiz fast break points of the night thanks to C-Butler, Haywood comes back in for Blatche.
Antonio Daniels is showing some leadership by trying to get this team together. Nick Young is doing a majority of the ball handling up the court…I’m not so sure I like that.
I know it’s on the players…but I just haven’t liked any of the line-ups Eddie Jordan has put on the floor during this second quarter. Wiz are now down 1, 34-35 after a Brewer 3.
6:45 – Nick Young is BAAAD on Defense, he falls for the most mundane of pump fakes from Brewer and then fouls him after he gets by…c’mon kid, you can’t close out on a shooter with your hands high and your feet balanced?
The Wiz (and Young) have two things to prove that bean-counter John Hollinger wrong on: Young’s ability and the Wizards record this year. I’m not so sure I’m confident in the former.
5:44 – Another 3 by ‘Toine Walker….damn, caps a 16-2 run by the Wolves….this latest after a Nick Young turnover. Put the hook in this kid. He didn’t see the court during either of the last two wins. Maybe his ass needs to stay on the bench for many, many more. 2 fouls and 2 turnovers for him. Full starting 5 is back in the game.
Eddie, you had some nice line-ups working the last two games, why continue to tinker?
Now, even though the starters are back in, the Wiz are totally out of rhythm.
4:25 - A Butler 2 finally ends the Wiz drought….but 1 Buckner FT, combined with a Telfair J after the Wolves got the rebound on the 2nd FT miss on the other end pushes the Wolves run to 21-4 for the quarter. 45-36, Minny.
The tone of the game has almost completely flipped….the Wiz are shooting jumpers and the Wolves are going strong inside.
3:12 - Wiz decide to put some pressure on the Wolves, force a miss which allows them to run and get Butler an open jumper. TO Wolves, Wiz down 45-41.
Should the T-Wolves be allowed to play the wolf howl during opponent FTs?
1:01 - Telfair easily around Gil for a floater. I can never understand why such a quick player has such slow feet. I know, I know…he’s got a knee.
:03.3 – Gil hits a couple FTs after being fouled on a drive. End the half down 4, 51-47.
Very disappointing 2nd quarter for the Wizards. It’s basic, they did not protect the basket and did not value the ball, nor each possession on offense. I’m just baffled that the Wizards allowed this Timberwolves team to out score them 27-15 in the 2nd. All the starters got back in the game with about 5 1/2 left, but at that point, they had to scrap and fight to get back in contention. I can’t remember if we saw Big Line-up 1.0 in at any point, I don’t think so. Eddie definitely needs to have better sub patterns in the second half.
Whoa…was that just Lt. Daniels from the Wire in a Cadillac commercial? I’m not sure what to think….I know that cat’s been in a bunch of other show. Remember him in an episode of Law & Order talking about blood diamonds. But commercials? We will know somethings going on when a resurrected Bodie is in a Mickey D’s commercial.
I just had an apocalyptic vision….an inspired Antoine “Grown Baby” Walker shows veteran leadership and leads a young Timberwolves team to two wins in a row (he had 11 points, 3 steals, 2 rebounds at the half)….shake it off, shake it off.
Get serious Wizards, ok?
9:08 - Wow, a fo’ serious o-rebound and dunk by Haywood…after a Gil semi-out-of-control-coast-2-coast layup miss. I think Jefferson is still picking bits of the ball out of his teeth.
8:15 - McCants open and hits a 3. Why does this happen? More Arenas bad gambles. Learn, learn, learn, learn….. (another o-rebound and dunk by Brendan on the other end)
I’m just not liking what I’m seeing from the Wizards. They are picking up fouls on D. The offense seems to be about letting Gil break down the defender off the dribble and shoot or dish, but he’s making good veteran decisions.
6:26 – Another McCants 3, 12-2 run by the Wolves, up 12. The zone D for the Wiz is not working out….of course, they’ve been bad at covering the 3 point line all year.
3:51 - Ok, ok…Wiz go on a nice 9-0 run to cut the Wolves lead to 3. 68-65. Not necessarily doing any better on D, Minny just went cold from outside. Andray and Songaila check in for Haywood and Stevenson. Along with Gil, Butler and Jamison.
The Wiz are struggling in cutting off, or defending the baseline against the Wolves…can’t lose that corner guy when you’re in the zone.
Sometimes it seems like Caron Butler is the main calming force on this team when things get a little out of control.
:58.2 - Another turnover by Gil leads to a Minny fast break, that’s 6 for him through 3 quarters. Not game management. Most of them have been bad turnovers too where he’s gotten himself in the air and has made bad passes.
Decent 3rd quarter sputters at the end as Buck says the Wiz went their last 5 trips without any points. Wolves up 74-71.
Blatche still in, he’s been rather quiet tonight. And yup, he’s got 3 rebounds, a missed shot, and a foul.
9:01 – Well, the big line-up is kinda in…Blatche, Songaila, Haywood, Butler, and Daniels. Someone needs to get a spark going.
7:50 – A Caron J cuts the deficit to 1…Wiz are starting to move the ball a little better, but Songaila’s 10 points is the only help that the Wiz have gotten from the bench. It’s almost to the point where yea, some people don’t like what he brings on D, but you almost gotta play him cause who else can you depend on for baskets off the pine?
Caron Butler is carrying the Wizards on his back tonight. 24 points on 10-15 shooting.
6:40 – Gil back in for Songaila, down 81-79, until Hibachi hits a fade-away deuce to tie it up.
5:35 - Nacho for 3. 83-81
5:10 – Nacho for 2. 85-83
4:06 – Nacho miss. Haywood offensive rebound, make and foul. 12-2 run by Wizards (18-9 in the 4th as Buck informs us) – Brendan misses the FT, Wiz up 8.
This team has really turned it up a notch….and it was started by none other than Gil Arenas. Funny how a couple jumpers by him can create such a spark and energy, on both ends, for the rest of the team. (not to mention this young T-Wolves team really folding on offense)
3:34 - NACHO for ANOTHER 3!!
Wolves turnover…4 on 1 Wizards break…Blatche the make and the foul, converts the FT.
3:00 - I honestly can’t believe what I’m seeing. Arenas gets a steal, the break, and an oop to Andray Blatche. Wiz up 99-84.
I’m with Phil Chenier…where did all this aggressive energy come from? We didn’t even see this in the last two wins. This is what we’ve all been expecting and waiting for. Ok, just hold on and close this thing out. Lotta time left. Four Wolves FTs cut the Wiz lead to 11.
2:33 - Songaila comes in for Blatche. I’m sure people don’t like this, but there must be a reason why Eddie trusts Darius over Andray at the end of games. I’m sure that FTs is part of that reason.
:45 – Steve Buck gives his patented “Dagger!” after a Blatche dunk (yea, he came back in a minute ago).
Wow, what a game. Wiz win 105-89. Gotta love the vet move by Butler at the end. He gets a steal with 7 seconds left…Haywood is wide open right under the basket, clearly wanting the ball to get his double-double (he had 8 and 11), and Butler says, “Nope. Vets don’t do that.”
Great win for the Wiz. The game ball is shared by Tuff Juice and Nacho Hibachi. I’m smelling some photoshop ops.