This is going to be a tough one, but aren’t they all?
We remember that the Wizards beat the Mavericks in Dallas back in game 14 of the season. The keys to beating the Mavericks today remain pretty much the same as they were then.
- The Bullets need to start the game off hot with buckets – In these last 5 games, the Wizards really only game out balling on offense in last Friday’s home win against the Knicks. Luckily in the other 4 games, the Wiz were able to win 3 of them with tight defense.
Although….Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison combining for 62 points as they did that night in Dallas wouldn’t hurt.
- Contain Devin Harris and dribble penetration, the key ingredients to the ignition of the Dallas offense. In game 14, Harris had 7 points, 7 assists and 0 turnovers at halftime. He didn’t do anything in the 2nd half save for scoring 5 points.
- Energy & Hustle – yea, you can say they need this every game…but especially against an explosive team such as the Mavs. I’m sure that Dallas fans have written off that first loss as a bad shooting night as the Mavs went 3-21 from 3-point land. I attribute that to great defense. Not only did Washington limit paint penetration, but they also did a great job at contesting shots. Back then, nothing came easy for Dallas. Let’s make that the case today.
Now let’s start the show….
11:26 – Butler starts off going to the basket with a reverse layup attempt….he’s been going to the hoop much more lately. He misses, but as usual, his drive caused a lot of shifting in the Dallas D which allowed Jamison to get a crafty rebound, bucket, AND1.
10:29 – Three offensive tips for Dallas until they score, a couple of them by Dirk. Gotta get physical with the German.
9:54 – That’s twice that Devin Harris has cut through the DC zone defense to get the feed from Dirk for a wide open layup. Here, MLK would’ve preached communication.
8:45 – Caron 3. Caron steal. Caron dunk. 10-6 Wizards.
7:25 – Stevenson 3 after a Wiz offensive rebound. 13-10 Wiz. The Wizards have started this game off moving the ball well…either running plays with hard cuts and crisp passes or moving the ball around the horn until they find something they like.
On the contrary, Dallas’ offense is a little stagnant. They really like to put the ball in a hold on the high post, right side FT line corner. They do a lot of back-cuts off the ball, which has worked with the 2-man game between Dirk and Harris a couple times. But the hands of the Wizards remain active. DC gets a steal and a bucket. Dallas timeout. 15-10 Wizard lead.
6:01 – The Wizards are rotating well in their zone, but as zone defenses go, so goes offensive rebounds for the Mavs. Josh Howard gets one, a bucket and a foul. 15-14 DC.
Dallas has 4 offensive rebounds, the Wizards have 3.
My boy Erick Dampier is not active enough to keep up with Brendan Haywood. Keep working with your 4 points and 3 rebounds BTH.
2:59 – Butler started off well enough with 7 points on 3-5 shooting, but his last two attempts have been a little ill-advised. Take it easy Tuff Juice, you’re not going 1-on-1 with Paul Pierce tonight.
Wiz still up 19-18 at the next timeout.
2:27 – Smooth DeShawn J. The offense was run to perfection as Haywood had it in the post against Diop, made a move toward the middle of the paint, was doubled…but BTH saw the double coming and passed to DeShawn in the corner before it came. DeShawn pump fake, and past Dirk for the jumper deuce. 21-18.
Save for their last offensive possession where AD could not take advantage of a mis-match leading to a Stevenson forced 3 as the shot clock was running down, the Wizards played well when they had the ball. But their active hands and energy on defense held the Mavs to 21 points on 39. 1% FG in the first. 23-21 Wizards.
Bench thrown in the fire: Young, Pecherov, Songaila, Mason and Butler.
It’s always best that the subs start off scoring. Young gets a drive on Diop. Songaila gets an open J off the screen. 27-23 Washington.
9:21 – Then again, transition D is an after-thought as Jason Terry gets a break-away off a Roger Mason miss….which was a good look.
8:45 – Nick Young misses a break-away layup. It was a tough shot…didn’t look like he got fouled, and I’m unsure if he thinks he got fouled….but he’s hanging his head a little too much after that one. C’mon kid, clap your hands together in frustration and they tell yourself that you’ll get it next time. Don’t let your opponent see all that weakness.
8:22 – Oleksiy block on Terry…who thought he got fouled, but he was really out of control…Butler gets the ball and scoops it long to Nick Young for a flying dunk. Hey, put that kid in the dunk contest! 29-25 Wiz.
Stackhouse then scores 4 straight to tie the game at 29.
7:01 – There you go Pech! He handles the ball very well down the middle on a 3-on-1 break and gives it to Butler at the perfect time for the lay-in. Pech looks like a smart basketball player. 31-29 Wiz.
6:21 – Steve Buck….”Score the Field Goal!” Nick Young trey AND1 – but he can’t convert the FT for the 4 point play.
This initial bench play has been pretty big. 9 points, a block, a steal, a rebound, a couple assists and only 1 turnover. 34-31 Wizards at a timeout.
Bullets Forever was trying to make a case the other day that Songaila and Pecherov are basically carbon copies of one another and perhaps Songaila should be moved….especially to gain his salary in cap space. But what’s wrong with having two big men who can spread the offense come off the bench? Something this team could definitely use, especially with the injury bug always around the corner. After this season, I think the 3 years and roughly 13.5 million left on D-Song’s contract is very reasonable.
3:21 – Blatche goes to the bench and tosses his wrist bands in disgust once sitting down. He looks like he was at least trying when in the game, but displayed no confidence and minimal energy. Only a block and a couple missed FTS from AB in 3 minutes of play.
0:02.2 – The Lock Smith with a very long 3 to end the half. Phil Chenier: “That was a Gilbert range 3.”
DeShawn had a “quiet” 12 points to lead the Wizards in scoring at the half. 46-41 DC. This game has all the makings of a hard-fought match between two good, veteran teams.
Other stat goodies:
- The Wizards are out-shooting the Mavs on FGs with 47.6% to
- Only 3 turnovers for Washington (2 for Butler). The 8 turnovers by the Mavericks led to 16 Washington points.
- The Wizards are moving the ball well. 13 assists, 5 by Antonio Daniels, to only 9 for Dallas.
- Active hands = 6 Wizard steals.
- Getting out-rebounded 21-13 by Dallas…that needs to be corrected to solidify this game effort from the Wizards.
The Wiz start the quarter off a little slow, only scoring 2 points in the first 3 minutes. Still, after a Tuff Juice inside basket, they hold strong at 50-47.
8:07 – Jamison trey ball makes Washington 5-11 from beyond the arc. Not too shabby. Dallas is 3-7 right now.
7:32 – ….that is until Josh Howard hits a 3. He is straight killing with 24 points to go along with his 7 rebounds. Well Caron, maybe you should pretend like he is Paul Pierce. 53-53 Wiz.
5:54 – So yea…Tuff Juice answers the call with 4 straight points of his own. 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals for Caron the Stat stuffer.
3:32 – How on earth did Caron Butler get such a great nose for the ball. He gets another steal, sneaking behind Jason Terry in the back court. Dirk shouldn’t have thrown the pass with Butler lurking. Tuff Juice’s 4th steal of the game, 2 made FTs (after a foul on Dirk)….which are his 55th and 56th in a row. 64-56 Wizards.
2:14 – Yessur, yessur….great Wiz D leads to a transition 3 ball by Jamison. 67-58 DC.
1:15 – White Hole three ball miss. Pecherov’s mistake that time? Not actually shooting the ball, but having to look down at his feet to make sure they were beyond the 3 point line. Jerry Stackhouse goes to the other end to hit a 3 and receives a smattering of boos.
The quarter ends and the Wiz made quite a run in the 3rd. They are now up 13, 73-60 and outscored Dallas 27-19 in the quarter.
Dallas is still winning the rebounding war 32-29, but I believe that DC had 7 offensive rebounds in the 3rd to Dallas’ 3. Dallas also had 4 turnovers to only 2 for the Wizards.
I don’t want to jinx the Wizards (then why are you typing this stupid?)….but so far, it’s not that the Mavericks are cold. It’s not that the Wizards are hot. Washington just looks like a better team than Dallas. Lot of time left though….a whole quarter.
9:34 – Howard finally breaks the ice for the Mavs in the 4th with a two. 75-62 Wizards. Washington needs to keep it at full throttle on offense.
8:22 – Howard is still on fire as he hits a very tough drive on the left hand side of the basket. 11 point lead for the Wiz at 77-66. Eddie takes a timeout because this isn’t the seamless start to the final period that he wanted.
6:30 – Antonio Daniels hits his 12 3-pointer of the season. 84-70 Wizards.
Unbelievable stat from Steve Buck. 14 Dallas turnovers have led to 25 Wizards points. Thank you much Randy Ayers.
5:10 – Crafty Jamison receives a give and go pass from Andray….that’s one thing AB seems to consistently excel at, passing….and AJ makes a reveres scoop/flip/layup thing on the other side of the hoop. Wizards by 12.
4:08 – This would not be an official game without a “How do-ya like that?” from Steve Buckhantz…..as DeShawn ‘Lock Smith’ Stevenson hits another long three.
3:37 – Devin Harris answers with his own rare 3…stays a 10 point game at 89-79.
3:18 – Butler keeps his hand on the throttle with a quick answer from beyond the arc. The Mavs are trying to push the ball hard on offense, but the Wizards won’t let up….despite a little back court pressure from Dallas.
2:46 – Steve Buck is getting creative now with a “Bingo!” as DeShawn knocks down his 4th 3 of the game. 95-81 Wizards.
Blatche is in the game now….he’s actually picked up his play to be more solid. No, as Phil Chenier notes, he hasn’t scored….but he’s played mature through a tough night stat-wise.
1:55 – Speak of the devil….AB with a nice running hook. Lead still at 15, 99-84.
A minute left clicks past and the fans begin to recognize that a win is almost in the books.
0:16.2 – Good gosh…Caron hits a long 3…he had to take it with the shot clock running down. Game over Lil’ Flip. 18 point win for the Wizards, 102-84.
What a great win. As I mentioned towards the end of the 3rd quarter, the Wizards just looked like the better team.
Caron Butler after the game: “Like I said before, real recognize real.”
And that’s about all that needs to be said. Break out the broom ’cause the Mavs just got swept. Add this one to the growing collection of routine wins for the Washington Wizards.