The Run Down
>>Game 6 Live Blog [Wizards 101-90 Win @ ATL] – Sunday, Oct. 11
>>Game 25 Live Blog [ATL 97-92 Win @ Washington] – Friday, Dec. 21
>>Darius Songaila had to get his teeth fixed yesterday. Reports did not indicate if the dentist visit was the result of his banging in the paint, or simply growing up Lithuanian.
>>Michael Lee gives us a great Wizards Insider post about teams playing without their all-stars, and about the tough stretch of games upcoming for the Wizards.
Key Word of the Day: Stretch
Not only do the Wiz play some good teams, but the games are also packed tight, so much that Eddie Jordan is Watching the Clock. Here’s my predictions for the rest of January, starting with tonight’s game.
@ Atlanta – Fri., Jan. 11 – W
Boston – Sat., Jan. 12 – L
@ Boston – Mon., Jan. 14 – L
@ NY – Tue., Jan. 15 – W
NY – Fri., Jan. 18 – W
Dallas – Mon., Jan. 21 – L
@ Cleveland – Wed., Jan. 23 – W
Memphis – Fri., Jan. 25 – W
@ Milwaukee – Sun., Jan. 27 – W
Toronto – Tue., Jan. 29 – L
@ Toronto – Wed., Jan. 30 – W
First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an NBA team face three different opponents in back-to-back games three times within a month. But I’m sure it’s happened…..
So I got us going 7-4, putting the Wizards at 24-20 going into February. I know, pretty auspicious…..or is it? Antonio Daniels is back in the flow, Pech is almost back, and the rookies gotta step up…they just gotta. ‘Cause Antawn Jamison don’t play. First, it’s move your locker next to mine. Next, it’s a whuppin’ with bars of soap in long socks. I know, it’s a rapid progression….but that’s just how Papa Jamison rolls.
[if the Wizards get 22+ points from the bench, they will win]
Now let’s start the show…..
Not much excitement to start the game. Between the two teams, 10 points in the first 4 minutes.
7:09 – Joe Johnson does have a decent size advantage on DeShawn Stevenson….he is able to easily back him down on this possession, but the Hawks can’t do anything, even after an offensive rebound. Next time down the court, J-Square drives it right down the middle for a jumper in the lane on DeShawn.
5:57 – Wiz up 5, 13-8…timeout on the floor. Brendan Haywood just picked up his second foul. I figured that Pech would have to play at some point during this 4 games in 5 nights stretch, but didn’t think it’d be game 1. It might have to be out of necessity tonight.
5:20 – Darius Songaila is first off the bench for BTH. He gets the ball in decent position, but held it too long and eventually turned it over, claiming foul as he ran back down the court. Many times, D_Song is a great passer, but he always seems to get in trouble when he holds the ball too long.
4:02 – Butler jumper miss from the corner….but the Wizards are very lackadaisical in getting back on D. 3/4 court pass from Joe Johnson to Josh Childress results in a dunk and an And1 after a stupid foul from Caron. Game tied at 15.
3:16 – Great defensive possession by the Wizards. AD got matched up on Joe Johnson. Songaila saw this and went to double….but didn’t completely commit. This got Johnson to hesitate…and he had to pass the ball to Acie Law at the top of the key with just a couple seconds on the shot clock. Law was able to get panicked penetration, but couldn’t get a good shot off.
Wiz are cold on the other end. Long missed jumpers are leading to Atlanta fast-breaks and other things that Eddie Jordan doesn’t like. Timeout after a 7-0 ATL run. 2:47 left, Hawks up 17-15.
1:01 – The Wizards are really trying to get out and run as well….nothing doing this time as AD pulls it back. Songaila is quick to shoot the rock and miss after receiving the first pass from Daniels.
0:30 – A pro move and breaking drive by Nick Young. He absorbed contact..didn’t get a call…but he protected the ball and made a scoop layup. 21-17 Wizards.
And D-Song scores a bucket on a sweet setup by AD with 1/10th of a second on the clock. 23-17 Wizards to end the quarter.
10:00 – Rebound numbers are even at 14, but the Hawks have 5 offensive to 2 for the Wizards.
r />9:00 – Al Horford bucket….I can see Songaila continuing to have trouble with him. Hawks down 5, 26-21.
Jamison has 7 rebounds already…Horford leads the Hawks with 6.
Mark it now, at 8:12 PM, Oleksiy Pecherov makes his NBA debut.
Here’s to keeping an eye on Oleksiy:
- 8:15 – Moves his feet well, arms extended in the zone defense. Secures position and gets a rebound.
- 7:58 – Down the court…Pech gets the pass out at the top of the key, holds it a sec and then swings it back to AJ on the right. He immediately cuts down the lane…through the Hawks zone, and receives a great pass from AJ for the layup.
- 7:25 – Pech misses a long jumper, just outside the 3 point line….he somehow gets in the paint to keep the offensive rebound alive, but the Hawks come away with it.
- 7:10 – Doesn’t close out well on Josh Smith….he drives, a double comes, but Pech fouls Smith.
- 7:00 – Horford gets around Pech for a baseline dunk.
- 6:02 – Pech is battling with Horford…trying to hold his ground, but he needs to fight more with his lower body for position instead of up around the arms where they call fouls.
- 5:25 – Bad pass by Pech, he wasn’t strong with the ball and Horford poked it away. Hawk dunk and alley hoop down the court.
- 7-0 run by Atlanta, Wiz up 2 points. And that’s the debut of Oleksiy Pecherov, the plus/minus is -4 — 2 points, a turnover, a foul, a rebound, and a 3 point attempt.
1:53 – This game is a grinder. Wiz up 37-33 after two Marvin Williams FTs.
Washington is 2 of their last 10 from the field, so I’m not exactly sure why they’re up. Probably because Atlanta has missed close to 20 shots.
Ok, not the prettiest game, but I’ll take the 6 point lead on the road. Wiz up 39-33 after Atlanta only scored 10 points in the 2nd.
Half Stat Guts:
- It seems like the Hawks have a lot more turnovers, but they only have 4 to the Wizards 6.
- Rebound, assist, block and steal numbers are relatively equal
- The Hawks have missed 26 shots, 35% from the field.
- Wiz aren’t much better, missing 24 shots, 38.5%
- Low scoring game because not many FTs have been taken, a combined 9-13 from the line.
- 11 points from the bench is strong in going for my 22+ prediction.
I’m really looking for the Wiz to come out with a strong 3rd like they’ve shown they can do this season. It was a ho-hum first half, but this veteran team should put the young Hawks to rest.
DeShawn Stevenson hits his 3rd trey of the game…the LockSmith is starting to get greased.
Butler rains a jumper in Marvin’s face after 13 jabs.
Timeout EJ….after two ATL fast break buckets. 50-47 Wizards. Josh Smith has 8 in the 3rd so far, just under 7 minutes left.
Jamison cannot hang with Josh Smith in any sense.
The Wizards are okay running on offense when the opportunities are there….but the fact that Atlanta is also running seems to be having a detrimental effect on the Wizards half court sets.
A good AB offensive rebound and resulting FTs – the Wiz up 56-50. On the other end, Andray gets a block, the Wiz start the transition and the ultimate result is another Andray bucket. Wiz up 8, timeout Hawks, just under 5 minutes left.
I keep hoping that Washington can make a significant run, but every time they seem to get something going, they shoot themselves in the foot with sloppiness.
But Phil Chenier is right….Andray Blatche has really been hustling tonight.
3:34 – And that effort leads to confidence…he hits a nice FT line extended-ish jumper, his first one of those in several games. 6 points in the 3rd for Blatche, 60-56 Wiz.
1:35 – Wiz get hosed by a couple calls…Anthony Johnson saves the ball while he is out of bounds, no whistle…and Josh Smith gets a transition basket when he really traveled.
Atlanta closes the 3rd with a 18-4 run. Not. Good. They’re up 68-62.
I keep thinking that the Wizards should be taking care of business….but the fact is that the Atlanta Hawks have a number of options who can score in a variety of athletic ways. Couple that with the lock-down D on Butler and Jamison (they are a combined 9-26 with 24 points so far) by a combo of Smith, Childress and Willams and you have where we are now. Oh yea, don’t forget that Josh Smith had 15 in the 3rd, 24 for the game.
Hawks 1st half, 33 points. Hawks 3rd quarter, 35 points.
Lotta Hawks dunks in this game…and another come from Josh Childress after Wiz pressure D eventually breaks down.
17 points from the Wizards bench right now.
8:30 – Songaila offensive rebound…but why did he have to shoot the off balance jumper, off one foot, right then and there? I think he has more confidence in his shot than he should.
…and back down the court, D-Song allows Marvin Williams to get a put-back bucket off his own miss.
Reoccurring theme: The Wizards can’t get back on D, Hawks score, Eddie Jordan timeout, 76-70 Atlanta.
Marvin Williams is catching fire, Joe Johnson is getting where he wants with the ball, no one can put a body on Josh Smith…blah, blah, blah. Wizards only down 4, 80-76.
Make that 6 after an “oohs and aahs” breakdown of AD by Joe Johnson.
Jamison is throwing his body all over the place tonight.
Overall, the Wizards have not been patient and fundamental enough to stay with the running and gunning Hawks.
4:30 – Butler hounded…then doubled. He chucks a bad pass to DeShawn, Wiz turnover..but they get a lucky travel call on Atlanta from the ref.
4:10 – Jamison still working hard to make up for his lack of D. 20 and 14 for him.
3:30 – Butler jumper ties the game, 6-0 Wiz run. Tuff Juice gives the ‘keep yappin’ hand to the Atlanta crowd as he walks to the bench for the timeout.
The Wizards now have 23 points off the bench. Put a win in the books.
3:15 – What an amazing play….DeShawn, muscling, playing tight D on J-Square, forced him into a tough turnaround
baseline fadeaway – Blatche comes over with the perfect timing and a block and a save. You can’t always sense his passion, but you can see the hustle from AB.
Down the court, Caron Butler 3, Wiz up 85-82.
Time for a duel – Joe Johnson 3, tie game.
Butler tries to answer with another 3…but no dice.
2:07 – Marvin Williams makes 1 of 2 FTs, Atlanta up 1, 86-85.
1:30 – A Wiz turnover and another 1 of 2 FTs for Marvin Williams. He only has 13 points, but has looked pretty smooth in this game.
Wiz can’t convert on offense, but they get Joe Johnson to turn the ball over as he tried to force things inside (he’s been passing and creating on most drives this game). Wiz fast break, 2 Stevenson FTs on a layup attempt and foul. Tie game at 87.
0:43.5 seconds left. DeShawn is trying to get the swag up on D coming out of the timeout.
Controversial call, but I’ll take it. Johnson gets the in-bounds pass as his momentum takes him towards the half court line. Stevenson crowds him and Joe looses his balance….with minimal to no contact from Stevenson, definitely not anything worth calling. Johnson bobbles the ball over the line as he tries to gain control of himself — too late, back court violation. DeShawn was barking loud coming out the timeout….this time, his bite was just as loud.
Looks like they are going to operating with Caron Butler up top against Josh Smith.
Crazy sequence follows….a Butler miss, a couple tips from the Wiz keep the ball alive under the rim. Smith comes away with it….some risky Hawks passes going down the court, not much control from them, frantic D from Washington…Marvin Williams gets the ball slashing right to the rim with a whole mess of Wizards out of position to do anything, but somehow Stevenson gets a block and Caron secures the rebound.
13 seconds left, side out for Washington.
Butler with the ball up top again…he drove against Josh Smith last time. This time, he starts a drive, but then goes for a long step-back jumper…..but he didn’t get enough separation and Smith blocked Butler’s shot.
No time, going to overtime.
Overtime Five Minutes
Anthony Johnson with a Tim Hardaway killa cross-over on AD…but Blatche is there for the block to the 7th row of seats. AB gives the Mutombo finger wag, better not get a tech kid.
3:49 – Daniels drive and dive. He makes both FTs, tie game @ 89.
Stevenson tough D on J-Square…somehow goes down, not sure if it was a flop, but the Johnson drive opens up a made 3 for Josh Smith.
1 Blatche FT makes it 92-90 ATL.
2:35 – BIG vet deuce by AJ. 22 and 16 for him.
Take a little, give a little….AJ foul on Josh Smith leads to 1 FT. ATL back up 1, 93-92.
LockSmith Deuce – 19 times that he can’t feel his face. Wiz up 1.
Gotta get this win…..gotta get this win…..gotta get this win………
No sir. 24 second violation on ATL. Gotta be aware of that coming out the timeout kids.
Damn. DeShawn missed jumper, thought he could get better on Anthony Johnson. Before you can blink, the Hawks have a 2 on 1 fast break and Caron fouls Joe Johnson….when he was kinda out of position to score. 1 FT make. Back to a tie game at 94.
0:37 – AD up and under…BASKET! [later to be named the pivotal play of the game]
Back down the court, another DeShawn block! Jamison gets the ball.
Two made Caron Butler FTs and the Wizards are up 4 with 15.7 seconds left.
What? Zaza Pachulia is out of tonight’s game with a hang-nail as Steve Buckhantz has just informed us? Yup, can’t really say anything to that.
Atlanta ball..Joe Johnson 3 miss, offensive rebound, miss, another offensive rebound, bucket. Timeout.
AD FTs….more required NBA game stoppage. 6.7 seconds left in OT, Washington up 100-96.
Marvin Williams deuce…and this game won’t end, especially since absolutely no time came off the clock. Refs fix it….5.4 left. Anything can happen…..anything needs to be nothing but a W.
Wow. Let me say that again…..WOW.
DeShawn has trouble getting the ball in-bounds on the side-out play. Option #1, Butler, was doubled. Well….option #2, whomever it was supposed to be, wasn’t close to being able to receive a pass. DeShawn is forced to make a cross court pass to Daniels who thankfully goes a little towards the ball, a Hawk came ever so close to getting the steal. But the vet got the ball and the foul instead….a game of inches.
AD’s FTs were good….and that’s it. A HUGE pull for the Wizards. 102-98 is the final.
Lotta, lotta blogging. Too much.
Quick Stat Cap (and I’m out)
- Blatche has confidence to build upon (again) — 13 points, 5 blocks, 8 rebounds (but 4 fouls).
- AD got the play of the day with the bucket to put the Wiz up 2 with 0:37 left in OT — Antonio had 14 points, but more importantly, 7 assists and 0 turnovers.
- Jamison had another great game — All-Star Solid: 22 points, 17 rebounds.
- But the game ball goes to DeShawn Stevenson – two HUGE blocks in crunch time — 19 pts, 3 ast, 5 reb, 3-5 from 3 — plus LockSmith had the biggest +/- for the Wizards with +15 — PLUS, pretty damn good D on J-Square.