Thanks to the DC Sports Bog, we’ve all been educated a little more about the “style” of the Washington Wizards. Cool, they exchange clothes like a bunch of girls. But he, it looks like the locker room rearrangement is working. Nick Young was not able to escape the veteran wrath of DeShawn Stevenson because he now sits next to Caron Butler.
Scott Van Pelt Style has an interesting post on a recent quote from Antawn Jamison. At face value, it can, as a Wizards fan, be frustrating that the team, Jamison could have been playing better defense this whole time….at least in theory. But hey, I’m going to live in the present on this one. My comments on SVPS went something like this: “Hey, I take comfort in the fact that AJ is willing to admit his mistakes and that if he has the will, an old dog can certainly learn new tricks.”
—— On to the game….
Yup. The Wizards beat the Celtics, twice. Took care of the Mavs. The NBA started to listen. But this is a statement game. Washington beat Cleveland earlier this year, but let’s only count that in the wins column….no where else. LBJ is on the court and this one is for real.
Show, start it.
Phil Chenier says that Brendan Haywood has traditionally matched-up well on Zydrunas Ilgauskas….but I still don’t like how Big Z brings BTH away from the basket….evident early as Ilgauskas has hit a couple outside jumpers and BTH has hit a bucket.
7:42 – LeBron steal and goes baseline to baseline…..looks easy. 12-11 Cleveland.
Both teams come out hot, a little hard to keep up. Haywood has gotten open on the screen and roll several times, but the passes to him need to be quicker and more timely for him to take better advantage.
6:35 – Big Z is finding spots in the zone, Wiz need to get the zone switches down better. Z gets fouled on a drive, and makes a single FT. 13-11 Cleveland.
At the first timeout, the game is tied at 13 and both teams are a combined 12-20 from the field.
Steve Buckhantz gives an interesting fact: this is the first time in the last 6 meetings that Caron Butler and LeBron James have faced each other.
4:57 – Clutch Juice hits a three after the Cavs had built a 4 point lead…but Z comes right back down the court with a jumper. Ilgauskas is 4-4 with 11 points, 3-4 from the FT line. Thing is….he’s working it on the perimeter, not Brendan’s area of defensive expertise.
2:33 – Z is absolutely on fire…along with the entire Cavs team….he hits a fade-away baseline jumper over Haywood. Eddie would like to discuss during a timeout. 26-19 Cleveland.
Sometimes the best defense in the world cannot stop a team shooting 68.8% — but the Cavs are getting good looks much too easily. What are the Wiz going to do with Ilgauskas spreading the floor so efficiently?
2:06 – Meanwhile….Jamison airball. The Wizards have settled for outside shots on their last several possessions. Cavs come down and another big man jumper. Varejao from the corner.
Another missed J, this one by Stevenson….TAKE IT TO THE BASKET!!!
LeBron does just that against the spread D on the other end with a layup.
Big Z is hitting a lot of jumpers against Haywood? So…let’s put Andray Blatche on him. Nope, Ilgauskas easily backs AB down and hits a baby hook.
Now they’re doubling Z….and finally, something worked. Wiz steal and a breakaway hoop. 32-26 Cleveland.
Finally, Zydrunas checks out just before the quarter ends with 15 points. 34-26 after one. Super Duper! The Wizards are shooting just under 50%, 11-23 from the floor. Good, right? Not when Cleveland is 14-19 with 73.7%. That first Cav jab was a mother…not the Wiz must fight back.
10:45 – Careless turnover by Blatche after he fought for an offensive board. CARELESS! The Wiz are sloppy with 5 turnovers. They had 8 the whole game against Dallas.
…..and they are still forcing outside jumpers.
It seems like Eddie Jordan is subbing like crazy, trying to make something work. Yet, DC is only down 8 at 36-38.
9:27 – Wow….what a move and dunk by Nick Young…ON LeBron James and a Boobie. The Wiz got a long offensive rebound and Young immediately broke to the other end. He received a pass from Jamison around half-court, went right on Daniel Gibson, crossed left to the middle where LBJ was on the other side, split both of them, and dunked right in LeBron’s grill. What a confident take. I’m still a little shocked at what just happened. I don’t even think that the Cleveland fans knew how to react. AND Nick got smacked by LeBron…no foul call. I gotta type it again…WOW.
Mike Brown didn’t even know what happened, he had to call a timeout.
This gets the Wiz to 6 at 36-30…but not for long. More easy Cav buckets makes the score 40-32 and leads to another EJ timeout.
Give me a break….the Wiz weren’t able to play defense this whole time because of a lack of muscle memory? (the topic of a Steve Buck and Phil C discussion)
A big phat, PUUu-Lease. Defense is all about desire and effort. I’ve heard about muscle memory when it comes to jump shots and golf swings….but when it comes to defense? That’s a head shaker.
Legal Seafood Question of the Night: What two players won the Rookie of the Year right out of high school? I say LeBron and Moses Malone. LBJ is the easy one to get. Steve and Phil are having a hard time with the second one.
5 minutes left. 45-38 Cleveland. 6 Washington turnovers to 1 for the Cavaliers.
The game has slowed down a good bit. Some missed shots, ticky-tack fouls. After the teams combined for 60 in the first 12 minutes, they’ve only combined for 23 in the first 8+ minutes of the 2nd.
Back to the Legal Seafood question….I was wrong. Amare Stoudamire was the other player to win ROY out of high school. I guess since Moses Malone went into the ABA out of high school, he wouldn’t have a chance to win NBA rookie of the year.
The Wizards have quietly cut the lead to 3 at 47-44…..more because of their defense. They still aren’t sharp on offense.
0:30 – Daniels gets blocked by Ilgauskas on a lay-up attempt. He comes back down the court a little gingerly.
The Wiz give up a couple offensive rebounds and can’t get closer than 3 points. The half ends with the Cavaliers up 52-46.
- The Wizards have 8 turnovers. Cavs have 3.
- Wiz are getting out-rebounded 20-15.
- Zydrunas Ilgauskas has 19 points – he’s made all 8 of his FGs.
- The Wiz are only 4-4 from the FT line…hence, too many outside shots.
- The Wiz are only down 6 because they’ve hit 2 more threes than the Cavs, 4-11 to 2-9.
- 18 points from the Wizards bench compared to 9 form th
e Cavs bench isn’t too shabby.
Damn AD….just because you’re open doesn’t mean you have to take the shot.
Still running a double at Ilgauskas. Too bad he’s such a great passer.
Cleveland builds their lead to 16 in the first 2 minutes and 22 seconds.
7:48 – Haywood forced shot. It’s getting ugly as the Cavaliers lead by 18…and they are getting whatever they want, such as 2 offensive rebounds on the other end.
6:56 – Another Haywood miss. When Buckhantz says that Brendan is “determined against Ilgauskas”…he really means “what is that fool doing shooting again?”
Boring….so much so that Steve Buckhantz is comparing the beards of Drew Gooden and DeShawn Stevenson to the Amish. Someone who knows better would compare them to those Philly Boys, a la Freeway. Oh well.
Cleveland is making the Wizards look like how everyone thought they would be without Gilbert Arenas. They’re on the verge of pushing this lead to 30. 3:45 left, Cavs up 83-58.
Cleveland is able to easily recover from any mistake they make without consequence. What? It’s still the 3rd quarter?
2:19 – Now it’s 30, make that 31 after two LeBron FTs.
2:00 – Hey, Pech with a triple….but he’s yet to get that part about making contact when blocking out. Gooden gets a rebound and jump hook right over him.
Finally, the 3rd quarter is over after the Cavs outscored the Wiz 43-17.
Statement game, huh? I laugh at myself.
Would it be too much to ask for a little show of heart in the final quarter?
Not sure which way I’m feeling. Will the Wizards play smart with pride, or will they just start carelessly gunning?
Looks like the young guys will play this one out.
The Cleveland starters look pretty much done too.
9:10 – Roger Mason likes shooting 3s though, he’s made a couple in the 4th. Down 101-68.
So what’s the worst Wizards loss of the season? That 26 point shellacking by the Nuggets at home in game 5 of the season, 118-92. Ahh…the good old days, when fans were chanting “Eddie Must Go!” in the Verizon Center. That was the 5th loss of the 0-5 start before Washington beat the Atlanta Hawks.
(oh, and for the record so there will be no confusion…I’ve always been a supporter of Eddie Jordan)
Still 5:24 left, 113-72 Cleveland.
Good lord that NBA commercial piano song is getting on my nerves. The NBA: Where Repetitive Ad Campaigns Happen
I need to see a show in the Lakers versus Spurs game to help get this one out of my mind.
Now I’m just getting pissed and hoping that Damon Jones falls on his face. A 30 point game is one thing….but now the Cleveland lead is 45.
I know it’s hard to keep your head in it when getting beat this bad…what am I saying, I don’t know. But the rookies, the bench, they’re just pig-slopping all over the place too. If this were college, Eddie would hold a practice tonight after the game.
But this is the NBA…I guess I’m supposed to say that losses like this happen and the Wizards need to move on to Friday’s game against Memphis.
Aww…eff it. This is f-ing unacceptable. Evidently 45 points ties the largest the franchise has ever lost a game.
Roger Mason 3, a fast break bucket from D-Song, and an Andray Blatche put-back cuts the deficit to 38.
Oh well, LeBron will be in New York in a couple years.
Game ends 121-85. That first 2:22 in the 3rd quarter where the Cavaliers out-scored the Wizards 11-1 was the DAGGER! The Wiz didn’t even get their first FG of the 3rd until the 6:38 mark.
Post Game: Eddie Jordan is visibly upset borderline embarrassed. I’m completely embarrassed. And life goes on.