Live Game 25 Blog: Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks
Yes, please do tell me that the Zen-Master, Phil Jackson is playing his Jedi-Zen games when he is debating whether Kwame Brown will return to being the Lakers starter at center over Andrew Bynum once he returns from injury.
Ok, back to players who have heart, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler. I’ve been unsure about this game. Some of those commenting on Bullets Forever seem apprehensive about the Hawks as well. Now, my feeling has changed. I think the veteran leadership of AJ and Tuff Juice will lead the Wizards to a victory over this young Hawks team. Of course, this Atlanta team has had wins over Dallas, Phoenix and Utah this year — so maybe they aren’t that young.
In any case, as we learned the other night against the Bulls, AJ and Butler can’t do it alone. They will need the help of young pups of their own. I’m urious to see how Nick Young responds to his horrible 1-10 effort the other night.
And this just in….Roger Mason Jr. will be starting instead of Nick Young. So hopefully, this will give the Wiz more solid D from the start and allow Nick Young to gain confidence in that he only really has to worry about offense coming off the bench, rather than getting into the initial flow of the game. But, I’m not giving him an excuse to slack on D.
Now let’s start the show…
The ATL has not won in DC since December of 03.
Not ideal to start the game with a bucket off an offensive rebound, but a Caron Butler 3 at the other end goes towards rectification.
Man, them Hawks start off hot. A 7-0 run to go up 9-3 before a BTH bucket.
8:45 – Uh oh Roger Mason, you just got lost on a back-cut and fouled Anthony Johnson. That won’t secure a temporary starting role for you. Head on a swivel son!
Wow, ATL is up 17-7 and are getting it done WAY too easily. Timeout by Eddie Jordan. Hawks are shooting 77.8% from the field and have an assist for each of their 7 field goals.
Haywood has it stolen away. His head was down, trying to force a move in the post, while not seeing the double team.
Stevenson 3 – Third scorer tonight? Steve Buckhantz says he’s starting his 193rd consecutive game tonight — in company with Bruce Bowen and Tayshaun Prince. Wait, what?
And Comcast’s TV clock and scoreboard have stopped working. I can see they are on their game like the Wizards so far.
4:16 – The Hawks are up 21-12. ATL is shooting 9-13 and out assisting the Wizards 9-1. No ball movement needed I suppose.
3:23 – Joe Johnson 3, 24-13 Hawks.
1:11 – Butler gets a steal, runs the break down the middle of the lane, gives it to Blatche on the right who tries some scoop BS layup which gets blocked by Zaza Pachulia. Really AB?
The quarter ends with a Caron Butler catch, shoot and miss with 1.7 seconds left. I’d say that the Wiz are lucky to be down 25-21. I don’t like getting out-rebounded 14-8 and out assisted 10-3. The Hawks cooled off a little after the 7-9 start, going 3-10 after that — still 10-19, 52.6% for the quarter.
The 5’10” Mike Wilks makes his Wizards debut.
10:50 – Marvin Williams open J ends the 10-0 Wizards run, 27-23 Hawks. How the hell are they getting these unguarded shots? It’s not like they just ran a play. Acie Law made one pass to the left wing and bam, uncontested shot for Marvin.
9:21 – Stevenson 3 over Zaza on the switch. He had to fire it up from deep because of the shot clock, but still looked confident.
8:45 – Mike Wilks first shot in the air…….and it touches absolutely nothing. Shot clock violation. Timeout, 31-27 Hawks.
Dominic McGuire is in the game, and Joe Johnson immediately takes advantage of the Rook. No Nick Young just yet.
7:55 – Blatche goes up scared against Pachulia, and misses…by all accounts, it could’ve been an offensive foul on Andray. Kid’s mind ain’t right tonight.
I like how Wilks is managing the game so far. Not much to go on, but he is quick at pushing the ball up the court; hasn’t really made a mistake yet. He’s not much of a 3 point shooter, so he’s not seeing a lot of pressure.
7:01 – Nick Young and D-Song in the game. Darius makes what Steve Buck says is the quickest move he’s seen from him ever with a baseline spin from the left side and a basket. Tie game at 33.
Stevenson, Nick Young, AJ, D-Song and D-Mac in the game now. Very interesting lineup. The Bama Brothers, Young and McGuire are both wearing headbands tonight. D-Mac usually does, I think this is a first for The City I believe.
More AJ and D-Song buckets make it 4 straight FGs for the Wizards, they are up 4 after a Hawks offensive foul – 37-33 with 5:02 left.
4:24 – Al Horford offensive rebound leads to a J-Squared trey. 3-3 on 3s for him, 6 o-bounds for the Hawks to ONE for the Wizards.
2:47 – Gritty drive and stick by Nick Young. He saw a small opening and took advantage with some slickness. His first bucket, Wiz up 5.
The R+L Carriers New Orleans
Bowl on TV Feed #3. The standard prerequisite, the pre-game commentators are wearing Mardi Gras beads because the are in New Orleans. If they really want to represent the Big Easy in an authentic manner, then they’ll do their job with a mic in one hand and either a Hand-Grenade or Hurricane in the other hand.
Josh Smith has 2 points and ELEVEN rebounds at this point in the game. Steve Buck says that ATL has outscored DC 11-0 in second chance points. Nick Young knocks down a 3 on the other end. Wizards up 47-43 as the Hawks have the ball for the last possession of the half (I think).
Horford hits the J with 5 seconds left. Caron had trouble guarding Joe Johnson off the out-under, Johnson got the inbounds pass, drew the help…Joe then passed to Al for the FT line jumper. 6 assists, 11 points for Johnson.
And Stevenson just misses a 3 at the buzzer. The Wiz shot 59% in the 2nd quarter and are up 47-45. I understand how DC got down 12 at one point, stagnant offense and lackadaisical defense, but I’m absolutely baffled as to how they are up 2 at this point. So, let’s check the stats….
Half Stat Guts.
- After a butane start by Atlanta, both teams are shooting 48% from the field.
- Getting out-rebounded by 10, 25-15 – uncharacteristic for the Wiz so far this year.
- Hawks are also doubling up the Wiz in the assist column, 16-8.
- I think the Wiz are ahead because they’ve limited turnovers, they have 2 to ATL’s 8 — and they have made 3 more 3 pointers than the Hawks.
- Oh yea, 13 first half points from the Wiz bench.
Wow, the Celtics are really taking that Pistons loss out on the Bulls. The are up 20, 53-33 with 1:40 left in the first half.
Haywood gets a bucket to start the half. I really think we should’ve gone to him more in the 1st half….he only has 2 points and 2 rebounds — just 7 minutes though.
Who’s right? Phil has the Wiz with 4 to’s, ESPN with 2 and NBA.com with 3 in the first half.
10:15 – Roger Mason, we need more toughness from you. You just had a bad closeout on Joe Johnson, allowing penetration and a dish….then, you allow Joe to get the offensive rebound. Lucky for the Wiz, the Hawks did not take advantage.
Jamison has hit his last 8 shots…..funny, I’ve barely noticed.
8:14 – DeeeShawn pulled trigger deuce. 7-0 Wiz run, up 56-47.
7:52 – Another offensive rebound by the Hawks, I believe the 10th for them, this time Horford. Haywood simply did not make good contact with him on the block out. If the Wizards lose, I’m pointing to all those offensive rebounds first.
7:02 – BTH is not having a good game tonight. He just allowed Josh Smith to drive right down the lane on him, not holding his ground, and fouling Smith.
Jamison on Fire – 24 points, assist from Caron. Boy, if anything, we need to keep AJ next year because he and Caron are able to play so well together. 58-51 Wizards.
5:37 – Smith steal and dunk. 7-0 run for the Hawks, during which, they scored their 15th second chance point of the game. I can hear the “excitable” Verizon crowd getting restless as the Wizards lead is cut to 2.
4:26 – Butler J, only his 7 point of the game. It would be BIG if he got hot to finish this quarter. 60-56 Wiz.
3:23 – Andray, I love the O-Bound effort and active hands, along with the extended arms you just displayed. But I don’t like how you aren’t strong enough to finish the hoop with an And 1. You were soooo close. But hey, you just got the second offensive rebound for the Wiz in the game. But thumbs back down to you for only making 1-2 FTs.
Damn Unbreakable Blatche, you must have some concrete feet cause Horford left your jock in your mouth after that quick baseline spin. You fouled, of course.
Yea folks, the Wizards young guys still have a long way to go…so let’s temper our expectations. But the Wizards old folks? AJ has hit 10 out of his last 11 shots. 26 points, 6 rebounds.
Something is going on with the chemistry, the flow of the Wizards within the past 4 minutes or so. Too mechanical. As Phil C says, this is one of those times when the Wizards miss the diverse offense of the Gilbert Arenas.
The Hawks have regained a 3 point lead, 66-63 with 1:40 left.
1:30 – Flip hook over Zaza for Jamison….Nick Young is really getting into Anthony Johnson on the other end.
Hey look at that, the Bulls have cut the Celtics lead to 21.
The Wiz double Joe Johnson to end the 3rd and Josh Smith ends up missing a runner. Atlanta Hawks 68, Washington Wizards 67.
10:23 – Josh Smith just made a real quick step by D-Mac. Dominic gave up the foul, almost checking Smith out of bounds. Hey, both D-Mac and Smith wear #5 – could we say that Josh Smith would be the fantasy possible potential for McGuire? Am I being too auspicious?
Steve Buck just says that the Wiz have missed 31 shots and have 3 offensive rebounds. Wow.
8:55 – 20th point for J-Squared, 4 point lead for the Hawks, timeout Wizards.
Oh AJ! Why’d ya do it? After a miss, City came down on the break, drew a double, swung it to AJ who drove the open lane….then swung it right out of bounds and past the ref he thought he was passing the ball to.
7:03 – Strong drive by DeShawn draws the foul. We really need more of that going to the basket stuff. I feel like Stevenson can drive better to the basket than Caron Butler. Makes 2, 76-73 Hawks.
Big Play! 6:30 – Butler gets his fast break drive swatted by Josh Smith, but the swat goes right into the hands of DeShawn who knocks down the trey ball. Tie game.
Stevenson also making it tough on the other end for Joe
Johnson. Pretty intense game now. Both of these teams want it. Of course…..after a Wiz miss, Johnson comes right back and hits a 3 from the corner after Atlanta moved the rock around the horn well coming down in transition.
Tuff Juice Time – gets a bucket, a steal on the other end, a drive the length of the court…just misses the layup, but gets fouled and makes both. Wiz down 81-80. Phil C and Steve Buck are talking about how Caron has been a little injured lately. He and Jamison missed practice the other day with some kind of “illness” that was never further explained. And now they say that Caron was limping around earlier in the game…and at the last practice. The damn trainers better step their game up.
3:20 – Another strong drive to the goal, this time by Nick Young. Eddie’s been in their ear about not settling for jumpers. Tie game at 82 after both FTs.
2:55 – Very lucky wide-open Joe Johnson miss.
Chicago is now within 25 points of the Celtics.
Great hustle by the Wiz — Caron misses, but AJ gets an O-bound, also misses, then Haywood gets one, misses, but gets fouled. 2 big FTs for the Big Fella. Nice to see him do that even though he’s not having a good game stats wise – 5 points, 5 boards. 84-82 Wizards with 2:15 left.
1:36 – Damn – AJ misses a tough hook after getting great position, Hawks get an easy drive on the other end. They are up 86-84. DeShawn deuce on the other end ties it – 1:20
1:03 – Josh Smith 3, 89-86 ATL – Mayne!, this is an exciting game. I’m a little nervous about the outcome.
0:48 – Another Nick Young drive for the basket. He’s got to work hard to draw the foul. FTs good, down 89-88. D-Fence! I give it to Young, he’s really making it hard for Anthony Johnson to get the Hawks into the offense.
The Wiz play very tough D and force a contested Josh Smith air ball, but Josh Childress has the perfectly lucky position for the tip-in rebound. What did I tell you about those damn offensive rebounds? Reasons.
0:25 down 91-88, Wiz ball. A spinning, hanging double-clutch Kobe Bryant-like shot from Nick Young. Can’t believe he didn’t draw the foul, but the replay confirms that he wasn’t touched. Down 1 with 18 seconds left, Atlanta ball. Caron is forced to commit his 5th personal on J-Squared. Makes both.
Now 0:16.2 left, still down 3. Almost had a 5 second call on the inbounds. Stevenson to a falling AJ, back to DeShawn, drive and pass to Young on the right wing. City had a good look, but missed. They showed Gil on TV consoling/teaching Young after the miss. Good for the both of them.
Hawks make FTs and you can pretty much call this game. Down 5 with 9 seconds left. 97-92 ends up the final.
Another disappointing loss. I was encouraged by the fight from the Wizards at the end. And the desire shown from Nick Young and DeShawn Stevenson in their willingness to step up when they were needed. City finished with 14 and Face finished with 18. However, the lack of energy with which the Wizards started the game made that fight even tougher.
I think the Wiz could have survived and won with only 13 points points from Caron. But not with the Houdini act from both Brendan Haywood and Andray Blatche tonight. They combined for just under 37 minutes, 8 points on 2-7 shooting, 8 rebounds and 0 blocks. Can’t have that from your big men…..which led to the Hawks killing the Wizards on the boards, 49-33,16 of those offensive to the Wizards 7. And that, is the key to this loss, but take a look at the box score if you would like.
Credit these links to check: