It’s always tough when a Wiz game is on national TV. I love Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier….but the ESPN broadcast of the game always looks so much better than Comcast (no, I have not jumped into the HDTV community yet…can anyone tell me how Comcast’s HD broadcast compares to ESPN’s?) In the end, I’m a home-town guy, so I’ll listen to the home-town guys.
Lot of scuttlebutt on Arena’s Sept. 28th prediction via his blog – that the Celtics would go down to the Wizards on opening night. Part of me wonders if he does these things for his own benefit, sort of a motivation technique that presses him to live up to the expectations he sets for himself. Then again, Gil has made his career on exceeding the Zero expectations set for him by others (at least that’s how he perceives it). So which is it? Is he setting the bar for himself high or low?
Ok, the first game blog was a little bit lengthy….chalk it up to opening night jitters. I’ll see if I can do better this time around.
My Keys to the Game (and a Wizards win)
- The 3 Rs: Rattling Rajon Rondo – the Wiz need to keep him from easily getting the Celtics in their offensive, it’d be interesting to see what Doc Rivers does if he struggles.
- Winning the battle on the boards – Obvious.
- Efficient offense – Wiz don’t have to hit a ton of 3s, but they DO need to have a nice FG% and they DO need to make their free-throws.
Seems like Rajon is part of everyone’s keys to the game…mines, Phil’s, Ronny’s…..
Gilbert is getting the fo’ serious Touch-Boo treatment…and the Wiz are rattled by the playoff-esque atmosphere at the very start. Actually, both teams are taking bad shots…it takes almost 2 minutes to get on the board with a KG FT.
Celtics are a little scarred of the Wiz in transition…not many hitting the offensive boards for them. I think all of Boston is drunk right now, probably a perpetual buzz from all the sports celebrations.
The first FG of the game for the Wizards is a bank shot? Uh oh.
Wow….Boston fans are chanting, “Giiiiilbert, Giiiiilbert” now.
Haywood dunk! Great positioning on the rebound…AND…the subsequent block! Please do this all year. If you do, I will write a personal letter to you apologizing for all the times I’ve referred to you as Brenda Haywood. You can hold me to that.
Funny play…4:35 left in the 1st….Rondo penetrating (c’mon Gilbert, better than that), dump to KG, he surprisingly mishandles the ball, then it smacks off a sitting ball boy’s head.
3:00 left in the quarter…the strong boos finally subside when the ball is in Gilbert’s hands during play, I knew it had to happen sometime.
We’re lucky that the couple of times Rondo has gotten into the paint hasn’t resulted in much.
Scalabrine? Really? C’mon Darius, that’s you. Maybe Bullets Forever is right to question Songaila’s presence towards the end of last game instead of Blatche.
1st quarter ends with the Celtics up 21-18.
Starts with a Pierce 3 to cap a Celts 8-0.
Tony Allen gets a basket And-1…I wonder if anyone has learned from his post whistle mistake last year.
Déjà vu from the other night, the Wizards cannot guard the 3 point line. Are we packing it in too much? Another 8-0 Celtics run, to put them up 11.
Celts are in a pseudo zone and the Wiz are not handling it well…need more cuts to the basket, can’t hit outside shots (0-6 from 3 as a team) and it doesn’t help that Jamison starts 2-9. Another Wizards time-out, down 12.
KG Baseline Fade-Away Alert. Down 17. The Celtics have been playing relatively physical…guess they want to punch the Wiz in the mouth first, and they are taking the blows.
There it is…if they didn’t hype things up enough, ESPN is putting Gil’s blog comments about the Celtics on air now…..aaaagain. Don’t worry still listening the Steve and Phil, ESPN cast is on the 2nd TV feed.
Down 15, 3:53 left in the half…if they can cut it to 8 before the end, the Wiz will be alright….Aaaaand Paul Pierce is going off. Gets 19 before missing a heat-check 3.
Key to the game Numero Uno – Contain Rajon Rondo. He drives to the basket and puts the Celtics up TWENTY-TWO to end the 1st half. Time for a drink.
Keys to the game revisited:
- Rajon had 6 points and 2 steals, but the key is ZERO turnovers.
- Rebounds are relatively even, +1 for the Celtics 24-23
- Wiz have made 8 of 10 FTs, but 35% from the field is not offensive efficiency.
The GAP Band has 41 between them. Well…. the Wiz aren’t getting back into the game with defense. Time for this year’s debut of the run-n-gun.
Up there with almost anyone in the NBA, this Wizards team has turn-around capability…but not starting the 3rd with a couple turnovers and careless fouls.
Shooting can be contagious….unfortunately, all the Wizards have been vaccinated.
Brenda….errrr.. Brendan has continued to impress.
Leaving KG open to hit more jumpers? I hate to say it, but there is a little quit on the defensive end. You simply can-not have that when you are already basket protection challenged. Yet another Wiz timeout, how many do they have? Down 69-42.
People are ridiculous, aren’t they? The absurd are already calling for Eddie Jordan’s head, less that 1 and 3/4 games into the season…..all over Wizards insider. Patience is virtuous.
Funny, like me, Phil Chenier has heard the fans chanting Gilbert’s name, Buckhantz hears the a-hole chant….or whatever it is that he can’t repeat on TV.
Well, the Celtics are on the verge of a “hey, this is fun” comfort lead. Boston up 23… close to the end of the 3rd.
I don’t care what it does for you Gilbert….that’s enough bulletin board material out of your mouth, ok? ‘Preciate it.
Good to see Gil learning Free Throw head games…after Rajon hit his first of two FTs with 4.9 left in the 3rd, KG & Co. go to give him daps…and Arenas bumps his way right in between Rondo and KG, probably accompanied by some inaudible words, on his way to the other side of the lane. Doesn’t work Double R makes them both.
Down 22, 79-57 at the end of 3.
…..time to check fantasy stats. How come stat-tracker for Yahoo NBA Fantasy can’t be as nice as the NFL one? Yup…LeBron scored 45 tonight. And I’m about to pick up Haywood in a couple of leagues…10 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists right now. Shhh…..down 15 points.
Certainly not Eddie’s fault that Arenas missed a 3 which would’ve cut the Celts lead to 12…and then gave up a cheap foul And 1 to Pierce at the other end.
MASSIVE block by Garnett on Arenas…Gilbert goes down, but not even close to a foul. Still, allows him to cherry-pick at the other end.
This game is pig-food-slop: GA FT misses. Scalabrine drives. Forced D-Shawn lay-up misses. Paul Pierce technicals….who l
ooked a little feminine, by the way, with his hand swat towards the ref.
I see a lot of teams these days, well team-mates, rush to help one of their own up when they fall. Rondo, the Boston starting point guard…kinda the X-Factor for the team…just got fouled hard and fell to the floor, just over 4 mins left in the game. Helping him up was an after-thought, at best, to just one Celtic. Just a thought.
I don’t know what the first two options would be…but the punch-line would be: ‘Brian Scalabrine hitting a 3-pointer, Priceless.’
Game closing out with more “Giiiiilbert” jeers….I haven’t heard the name chant that loud since Darryl Strawberry was alive.
Well, that’s all folks. 20 point loss for the Washington Wizards, 103-83.
I don’t even want to look at the stats tonight. The only one that matters is the big L.
But I will mention the keys to the game in brief:
- Rondo: 15 points, 4 steals (that dude has Arsenio Hall fingers)..only 2 assists to 3 turnovers, but I don’t think it would’ve mattered if the Wiz contained him with a shooting night like they had….
- ..Speaking of, Key #3: What do ya know?..finished 35% from the field, did hit 77% on the FTs though.
- I’ll ignore the rebound margin…+1 for Boston. The original key should have been fast-break points or contributions from bench….Darius had a quiet 13.
Not even talking about D-Fence…that should be a key to every game.
I’ll be at the home opener against the Magic tomorrow….take notes.
Damn, just realized that this blog entry is Ron Jeremy, my bad….facing Stan Van Gundy tomorrow night. (check out the Wikipedia pic of him [linked]…unintentional humor. And I don’t mean to laugh, cause it evidently involves him doing charity work…but still.