You know…I’ve always heard opponents of the NBA say that all you have to do is watch the final 4 minutes of the 4th quarter — most of those who use this false reasoning also think college basketball is far superior, or don’t even like basketball at all. Look, it’s okay to prefer college basketball over the NBA. I don’t. I think the NBA game is better, just a personal preference. But to just dog the NBA game? That’s sign #1 that you are an uneducated, or extremely casual, fan of basketball.
Regardless, I don’t like to wait until the end to watch a game….but I didn’t have much choice tonight. I found myself the victim of a long-running wedding rehearsal and suffering from the lack of alcohol in my blood at a dry rehearsal dinner. Oh well, these are the breaks. Suck it up and do what you gotta do. So, as a result, here are some more “notes”.
Short story long, I didn’t get home until about 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Which actually, I was more than happy to see because I didn’t think I’d be catching any of the game at all.
End of the 3rd Quarter
So…..I get in front of the tele just in time to see a Richard Jefferson FT which brings the Nets within 2, 79-77 Wizards.
It takes a second to catch up with what’s been going on in the game. But the quick and easy is that now, Richard Jefferson has 17 points in the last 7 minutes. Also, the nine point lead the Wiz once had in the 3rd is now down to one…and after Washington commits their 9th TO, the Nets have the ball down 1 with 2 minutes left.
2:03 – Boy the Wizards young players are good at picking up fouls. Andray Blatche picks up his 5th on another strong drive by R-Jeff. After the two FTs, 24 in the game for Jefferson, a whole 19 in the 3rd.
Jefferson has done well in recent times against the Wizards….at least in New Jersey wins. When the Wizards beat the Nets on December 9th, Jefferson only had 9 points. However, in the previous 4 times that Jefferson faced the Wizards, all New Jersey wins, he averaged 28.5 points — guess he had to come around some time in this game.
2:40 – More isolation for Jefferson, Dominic McGuire is guarding him this time….playing defense more with his arms than with his feet. Nick Young ends up with the foul on the help. 2 more FTs for Richard Jefferson….21 in the 3rd for him.
Steve Buckhantz says that he has out-scored the Wizards 21-15 in the last 8 minutes alone. Wow…you’d think it’d be time for some type of adjustment from Eddie Jordan.
0:23 seconds left, Wizards are now down 87-85 — Blatche shows a great deal of indecision with the ball in his hands, as the play breaks down. Luckily, the Nets bail him out with a foul on an ill-advised, off-balanced shot. He only makes 1 of 2.
The Nets tried to go to Jefferson to end the 3rd, obviously…but Mike Wilks bothered him, made him pass, then a turnover for Nets. End of 3, 87-86 New Jersey.
So to recap things so far.
Richard Jefferson – 1st quarter: 2 points, 2nd: 3 points, 3rd: 21 points.
- The Wizards are shooting 50% to New Jersey’s 46.2%
- NJ has made 7 more FTs, 22-23 from the line total; 15-19 for the Wiz
- Assist, turnover and rebound numbers are basically the same
- Points: Butler 23, Jamison 20, Haywood 13, Mason Jr. 10 – Nick Young has 13 off the bench.
- Kidd is 2 rebounds away from a triple double, Jefferson has 26 and Carter has 22.
4th and Final Quarter
11:23 – Nick Young with an early bucket…streaky is as streaky does. He’s 5-6 tonight. The City either shoots like that, or does something like go 1-9.
9:33 – Young is really working and jukin to the basket tonight. AB gets a nice tip in off his miss…good offensive rebound basket which was a result of the room Nick Young created with his drive. Only 4 points in 2.5 4th quarter minutes for the Wizards.
8:11 – More penetration by Young with Jefferson defending. This time after drawing the help, he dishes off to Andray for the layin — guess we’ll be seeing that for years to come….one can only hope.
7:50 – The big guns check back in (Haywood, Butler and Mason for McGuire, Blatche and Wilks — wait, Mason is a big gun?) Seems like the bench held strong (alternatively, you could say that they only scored 6 points in almost 4 minutes — however you want to look at it — the 4th started with the Wiz up 87-86, the game is now tied at 92). Those checking in join Jamison and Young on the court.
6:30 – Wiz have left Kidd open on the last couple of shots….usually not a bad thing, but eventually…..he’ll get ya – Whitesnake hits a 3 to put the Nets up 98-95.
6:01 – Aaaand as soon as I type, Kidd hits another 3 to put the Nets up 101-97.
I’ve seen a lot of guys in the NBA work on, develop and improve their jumpers. And people always get on Shaq…wondering why that guy can’t improve his FT shooting. Well, Kidd is supposed to be such a great, smart player, and he is….But why can’t he improve his outside shooting? Ahh…this is where that fragile psyche comes into play.
Kidd has the perfecto fundamentals….the set up game, the defense (a little less now after the knee has down-graded) and he can certainly take care of the ball. But would you consider him a confident player?….perhaps. More like…probably so. But a confident player on offense? Nope, not at all.
Eddie J takes a timeout, and a good one, to assess the situation. 5:12 to play, New Jers up 101-100. Hey, at least Jefferson hasn’t scored in the quarter so far….guess the adjustment was made.
5:00 – BIG call….a tough Tuff Juice miss, Brendan Haywood and Sean Williams get tied up…jump ball is called, and they did both get their hands on the rock at the same time, but it ended up with Haywood’s arms tied over and around Williams. Crowd didn’t like the call too much needless to say. Wiz get the tip on the key possession.
Nick Young is really going for some difficult, but good drives. He goes, dishes, gets an offensive rebound…and another go at the basket. Doesn’t work out for him this time as he fails to draw the foul. The Nets go down and score to go up 103-100. Don’t worry Bean Burrito, you’ll get those calls eventually. Keep doing what you do, taking it to the hoop.
3:45 – Another 2 for New Jersey. The last two bucket set-ups by Vince Carter to Sean Williams have been way too easy. Wiz turn it over at the other end and the ‘savvy offensive veteran’, Jason Kidd, pushes the ball up the court and gets fouled on the drive. He makes both, and just like that, a 6-0 run puts the Nets up 107-100.
3:09 - Caron Butler stops the run with 2. Back down the court, he gets a “nose for the ball” rebound…and comes inches away from knocking down a step back three that left Jason Kidd spun like a top. New Jersey gets the big rebound off the miss. Really needed that…..timeout Nets. The Wizards gotta get some stops.
2:18 – It must be ‘Go to Sean Williams Day’…he’s always around to receive a pass when the Nets players are driving, on pick and rolls, etc. — Let’s go BTH, can ya keep track of this rookie? A shooting foul and 2 FTs from Williams, NJ up 109-102.
1:45 – Another big call in the Wizards favor — thankfully, Kidd misses a wide open 3 from the corner, Mason Jr comes up with the rebound and gets fouled by Jefferson. Two FT makes, 3 point game. 109-106. Oh yea, 17-17 on FTs for the year for RMJ. Clutch.
1:00 – Wiz ball after a gritty stop, but a Nick Young travel on the other end. BTH does not look happy about that offensive possession.
0:32 – Wizards need another stop and get one….Mason Jr has a wide open 3…and it’s just short. The defense running out to close on his shot really bothered him.
0:30 – The Wizards are content to just play D and not foul…swing to Boci Nachbar for an open 3 in the corner…and MISS!!
But the Wizards cannot come up with the offensive rebound. The Nets are able to run out the final 4 seconds. Game over. 109-106 New Jersey Nets over the Washington Wizards.
Dammit if the Wizards don’t always lose these tough nail-biting heart-breakers to the Nets. Although…the game didn’t seem that intense because the New Jersey fans were extremely quiet. I barely heard an audible cheer in what should’ve been an edge of your seat finish. What’s up with that? Ivan Carter on Wizards Insider mentioned that the Izod Center has the atmosphere of an empty garage. I’d compare the atmosphere to sitting through a private screening of Air Bud with Uday Hussein holding weapons in an 800 seat theater. Uncomfortable.
Has the Jigga man been making them take cold showers, use duct tape to tape ankles and travel on a rickety old bus so that they will lose games and the franchise will thus have to move to Brooklyn? Plausible.
Makes me think, this year’s New Jersey Nets can definitely be compared to Major League I.
The more I let this loss stew, the more it pisses me off. When the Wiz got key stops towards the end, they simply weren’t able to take advantage on offense. On the other hand, there were many key stops that they could not get, yet always seemed to score at the other end…..treading water.
Basically, the 3rd quarter and Richard Jefferson killed the Wizards this game. And I really don’t like having to face the Miami Heat tomorrow — no matter how crappy they have been. Done.
But do ya want some good Wizards links? I knew ya did….
Check ‘em out and drop the knowledge.