Game 5: Well, Maybe It’s a Rebuilding Year…..Wizards vs. Nuggets
Just kidding, kinda.
The game started off well enough. DeShawn didn’t take and miss the first two shots of the night as he did against the Nets; and he seemed primed to guard Allen Iverson while Gilbert Arenas started off on Yakhouba Diawara (who wasn’t exactly a driver, but was sure content with hitting a couple early 3s). The faulty scoreboard was also resolved, and Gil came out with the black compression sock, rather than white.
Well, with about 9 minutes left in the 1st quarter, there was a clock malfunction and a considerable delay. Arenas proceeded to jog up and down the court to keep warm, at the end of which, Kenyon Martin had some words for Gil, probably more knee advice (maybe someone could just give Arenas a list of those who have, or are trying to overcome knee injuries and this season can just be one big nationwide consultation tour). When play resumed, Gilbert got immediately pick-pocketed by Marcus Camby. These weren’t good signs of things to come.
The first quarter ended close with the Nuggets up 28-26. Lucky for Wizards because they did not know what to do with A.I., he was able to penetrate at will. DeShawn had no chance of staying in front of him, really wasn’t even making A.I. work. Antonio Daniels seemed to do a better job when he got in at the end. But we definitely aren’t seeing the AD of last year’s playoffs or season. He really should start being the first player off the bench, coming in for Gil from now on…probably 7 minutes into the game.
Side Note: Not that shot form predicates shooting ability, well it kinda does…but Reggie Miller would be the king of all exceptions [one of my favorite basketball sequences ever]. The point, Nick Young’s shooting form: not sure I like it. His trigger seems a little slow, deliberate. But if he can consistently hit them, that’s cool. I’m just afraid his offensive game will be defined as “streaky” as he develops.
The one positive thing we can take from the whole game is the play of Andray Blatche. He showed some hustle swag on D and more decisiveness on offense. I still would like to seem him more confident handling the basketball in the open court. Either push it, or better yet, get it to a guard and haul-ass to the basket.
From about 1:30 left in the 1st through the first several minutes of the 2nd, it really became an up and down game. The Wizards were moving the ball well. Choo-Choo, errr…Clinton Portis was in the house. And most importantly, no Wizards had been hurt by Eduardo Najera, un Mexicano grande (add him after Nocioni and Bowen…and Steve Nash, ha!…to the NBA All Durty-Durty team).
The Nuggets got a little hot and went into the locker room with a 9 point lead, 60-51.
And that’s about all I got. Maybe it was the numerous vodka-tonics, maybe it was my subconscious frustration, but I accidentally erased the rest of my blackberry notes at the end of the night. Good for me. Man, you sure know it’s hard times in DC for Wiz fans; the Bacardi cocktail booth near my section was about fiddy deep at halftime. I’d never seen it like that before.
Carmelo Anthony owned the 3rd quarter, scoring 16 points…..all wet jumpers. You can’t even blame Blatche’s defense. When ‘Melo throws that quick jab, all he needs is a millisecond of hesitation from his opponent. He gets elevation and that shot off so fast that no earthly soul in the NBA can hang with him. You can only hope to keep the ball from ever getting into his hands. I can’t believe so many people were leaving in the 3rd. If anything, The Carmelo Show was worth the price of admission You’d think people would want to salvage/recover some of the value.
The boo-birds came out in the 4th. And according to a Mike Wise column in today’s Washington Post, an “Eddie Must Go!” chant. I didn’t hear it. Great column by Wise BTW. He, like myself, does not think that the coach is the problem with this season.
But what’s a Wizards fan to do? Many are angry. And I know, at this point, we were all expecting a steak from Buck’s Fishing & Camping (some say home of the best steak in DC), but are now stuck with 3-day old reheated tater-tots. I’m not angry, I’m more distraught. But I still find myself asking Eddie Jordan questions. First of all, is Eddie Jordan a “Gilbert Arenas coach?” I hate to think about, or even consider, the fact that star players may have the ability to dictate the coaching position. But the Wizards are in the unique situation where Gilbert is going to opt-out of his contract, so there is an element which is influenced by him…..granted, not Kobe Bryant, no-trade clause, influence. Just something to consider, what does Gil want?
My boy sent me a text message rumor yesterday afternoon before the game (and please, this is just a rumor) that Jeff Van Gundy was shopping for houses in Potomac, Maryland. Who knows? The team probably could use his defensive philosophy, but in terms of offense? To take a quote from Forest Gump, “Seat’s taken, can’t sit here.” Am I kidding? Maybe.
See you tomorrow when the Wiz travel to Hot-lanta to take on Joe Johnson and Josh Smith. Thanks to the miracle invention of three TVs in my living room, I’ll be able to peep both the Wiz (2 pm start) and the Skins (1 pm start) games at the same time. Really, will anyone else in DC be watching the Wizards game?
A big congrats to Sylvester Croom and the Mississippi State Bulldogs, who became bowl eligible for the first time since 2000 with a win over Alabama this afternoon. Hopefully, a potential trip to glorious Shreveport, Louisiana will get some of the Bulldog fans off of Croom’s back.