Ok, these Memphis boys got the Wiz last time in unlucky game 13. It was a high scoring affair, 124-118, with Jamison dropping 41 and three Grizzlies +20 in the scoring column, and two with 17. Little Juan Carlos Navarro, or as Eddie Jordan calls him…”Antawn Jamison on the perimeter”…dropped a career/season high 28 points, dialing up 5-8 from long distance.
I’m not going to talk about that other game, you know which one (this needs to be my only memory). I’m just confident that everything is going to add up tonight. The Wiz will return to their defensive ways. Yeah, the Grizz may score a lot, but it should not be easy for them. Memphis will have to work on offense, which will make an already sorry defensive team even worse.
A couple quick Washington Wizard links:
DC Sports Bog Video: Antonio Daniels has a hard nose. He would also like to tell the children to dress well. And one thing I learn from the AD’s video is that I’m one up on an NBA player in something……I got 10,000+ songs on my ipod…and that can take on your 9,000 any day Antonio. You hear me son? That’s a challenge.
A Bullets Forever reader provided a link to this good Sporting News article on the relationship of Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison – some nice torch-passing going on here.
Gilbert Arenas owes Oleksiy Pecherov some Fogo De Chao. Holler at me when ya’ll go, that’s my joint.
Now let’s start the show…..
The Wiz don’t eff around on D to start…and get a 5-0 lead in the first 1.5 minutes. Active hands, sneaky steals, and great ball pressure.
Ha! The Grizz are only sending that sucka Darko to the offensive glass…good luck with that. Oh yea, Pau Gasol is out tonight. Makes no difference to me, I think Pau is a softy….as Gasol displayed in a game against the Hornets earlier this year.
9:00 – Butler just tried to take Mike Miller down low. He posted up and got great position almost right under the basket, but was unable to convert after receiving the entry pass. But that’s what I like to see! I’ve been wanting Tuff Juice to muscle cats all year.
7:47 – JCN just got a three look that was a little too open. Luckily, he missed. Surprisingly, these two teams are having a little bit trouble scoring right now….just over 5 minutes in and it’s only 7-2 Wizards. That is, until Mr. Gay comes calling.
6:36 – Pick and roll between Stevenson and Haywood works to perfection…AND a dunk right in Mike Miller’s facial, plus Miller commits his second foul and has to sit. Maybe this Bullets Forever thing is working out. 11-4 Wiz.
Phil Chenier notices the Wizard hand activity. First timeout.
5:30 – Wiz stay balling like Indo G (random Memphis rapper reference) out the timeout….forced turnover leads to points.
4:40 – I think the Griz just committed their 8th turnover which leads to a Jamison bucket on the other end as he literally snatched an offensive board away from a Grizzly and got the put-back. 18-4 Wizards.
3:14 – Although they only have 2, the Wizards have been crashing the offensive boards hard. BTH also starts the game with 7 points and 4 rebounds before Blatche gives him a rest.
2:25 – Not good coming back…Andray Blatche is leaving the floor with the trainer. He can walk on his own, but with a limp. That’s what I’m saying….the injury bug is always just around the corner. At least this doesn’t look serious.
1:40 – Okie Doke! Butler threw a perfect pump fake to Darko and that dude went flying. Butler went on to sink a smooth Ice Man-like layup. If he ain’t anything now, Darko will never be good. Is it finally time to officially give Joe Dumars the full business for that one?
Dominic McGuire is in early. I like to see Eddie change it up with the young guys…in terms of when they check in. You’ll see a lot of coaches follow some type of schedule. But with EJ’s method…hopefully the kids will learn that they always need to be ready because they never know when their name will be called.
AB is back….the report is a mild ankle sprain.
0:00.6 – Wow….don’t see that too often. As the quarter clock was just about to expire, The Lock Smith tossed up a runner from half-court. But after the release, he gets clocked by Bobby Jones. The foul is called and DeShawn hits all 3 FTs to give the Wiz a 30-9 lead after 1. Nice work.
10:23 – And then the kids go bad…D-Mac with two straight turnovers. Plus, Butler picks up his second foul early and must sit.
3 is not a good number for the Wizards to start the 2nd. In the first 3 minutes, the Wiz get outscored (3 x 2) to zero and have 3 turnovers. Plus, in addition to Butler with those 2 fouls, AD and AJ already have 2 as well. That’s 3 guys with 2 fouls.
8:00 – Eddie sits AD after he picks up his 3rd. The Wiz wake up….a little…..after a Kyle Lowry J, it’s 35-19. (Still, a 10-5 Grizzly run)
Scoring has picked up a little for both teams, 13 total points in the last 2 minutes.
I’ve always thought that Kyle Lowry was a better player than Conley (right now at least), but I guess the investment is in Conley. Lowry must be doing a decent job as the Grizzlies have yet to turn the ball over in the 2nd. But Conley was not really responsible for their 8 so far as he has 0 while Gay and Navarro have 3 a piece.
The Wiz picked up 3 turnovers early in the 2nd, but two of those were D-Mac’s in the first couple minutes of the 2nd. Washington is able to build a 20 point lead at 46-26 with 4:40 left in the quarter.
3:10 – Had to happen sooner or later, 2 straight turnovers by Memphis leads to 4 Wizard points, 52-31.
2:19 – Mid- range jumper by Haywood…..on his grown-man-BI. 13 points and 5 rebounds for BTH.
Now is the point where I think it’s a mistake not to play Nick Young or Oleksiy Pecherov. As I’ve noticed before, Nick’s psyche seems to be affected when he gets into games late. So…..with AD on the bench with 3 and both Butler and Jamison with 2….in addition to an 20 point lead, why not know?
Probably because Eddie Jordan is an NBA coach and I am not…..and with a quick scoring team like the Grizzlies, I can easily see the youngsters letting things get out of hand. Can’t blame Eddie, but I still wonder.
A minute left and Andray Blatche is back in, so that’s a good thing.
Mike Conley is quick though…I can see the Tony Parker comparisons. He’s able to get a step just about whenever he wants.
A Stevenson 3 miss ends the 2nd. Definitely would’ve liked to see a better play, having the ball with 10 seconds left on the clock…..but I’ll take a 59-38 lead going into the half.
Half Stat Guts:
- The 9 points that Memphis had in the first quarter — a Washington franchise low for an opponent
- 11 turnovers for Memphis, 6 for DC
- Assists are 13-4 in favor of the Wizards
- 55.6% FG for DC, 36.1% coming from Beale Street
- The Griz were 10-19 from 3 point land in that first game, they’re 2-11 at the half tonight
11:14 – Conley goes out early with a shoulder…didn’t exactly see how he hurt it. I think Caron fouled him going for a steal. That Tuff Juice, it’ll bite ya.
8:51 – AJ 3 as the offensive rebound tip, partially hit by Haywood, landed right in his hands. AJ pulled that trigger so quick…I think he was already into his shooting motion before the ball got to him.
8:24 – Jamison just picked up an offensive foul, his 3rd. Butler and Antonio each have 3 as well.
7:15 – The 3rd has a sloppy feel to it for the Wizards. The once 21 point lead is down to 16 at 70-54.
Does Steve Buckhantz really need explaining as to why Ji Jianlian has more all-star votes than Caron or Jamison? Thankfully, Phil Chenier is gracious enough to give him one…The World Is Flat.
6:02 – Mike Miller trey cuts that lead to 13 at 74-61. Kyle Lowry is really playing well. He’s got 4 assists so far in the 3rd, 6 total in the game. Eddie Jordan timeout.
5:02 – AJ nails a 3. 17 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists for the soon-to-be All-Star.
Steve Buck says something that I really don’t like to hear: The Wizards have committed 7 turnovers in the first 7 minutes of the 3rd. Gotta clean up the slop.
Still, it’s an 18 point Wizard lead at 79-61.
3:54 – Big Block by Andray. The Cleaner doesn’t like none of that mess Kyle Lowry.
3:37 – Pecherov comes in to keep Jamison fresh. OP immediately gives up a foul AND1 to Warrick.
3:02 – The White Hole got burned on the rotation….c’mon son, those slow feet will get you dunked on by…what? Darko Milicic? 79-66 Wiz.
2:11 – Blatche with a charge draw, he’s got good feet…and doesn’t even realize it. He’ll learn though.
1:03 – And the Grizzlies stay closer as Mike Miller hits a 3. No one was even close to him. The quarter ends and the Wizards are up 84-71.
The Grizzlies exerted a lot of energy out-scoring the Wiz by 8 in the 3rd. Time to guard the grill and knuckle up.
Nick Young is in the game. Hopefully he won’t try to force anything. Mike Conley will not return tonight.
11:04 – Rudy Gay 3 makes it an 8 point game. 84-76. Not sure I like the lineup of Blatche, Jamison, Pecherov, Young and Stevenson. Not good to bat 2-5 on Defense, especially against this team.
Lead gets as low as 6 before Tuff Juice takes over. He hits a jumper to make it 88-80 and then gets a big block on the other end.
8:44 – Nick Young 3…smooth Rookie, smooth. Lead is back to double-Ds at 11.
7:40 – Good ol’ AJ. He “veteraned” Warrick into a foul as he tried some crazy hook/scoop shot, going under Hakim’s arm…the ref didn’t have a choice but to blow the whistle. 1 FT keeps it at 11, 92-81 Wiz.
6:57 - #58 and #59 consecutive made FTs for Caron Butler, 94-81 Wiz. This game is a grinder now.
I can actually hear the crowd in the Verizon Center tonight….”Let’s Go Wizards! Clap-Clap-Clap-Clap-Clap”
5:32 – FT #60 for Caron (tech foul on Lowry).
4:18 – AJ offensive rebound and put back. 102-81 Wizards. Really, who else fights, battles, and scraps more than Antawn Jamison? All-Star no doubt.
3:01 – D-Mac checks in for AJ…Another routine double-double — 24 points and 11 rebounds.
2:37 – Timeout…it ain’t over yet. 102-87 after 2 straight JCN threes.
0:00 – The Wiz hold on to finish the Griz, 104-93. Came short of the Bullets Forever 206 over/under.
Check out the box score for the stats.
My boy Adam sent me a text that he’s pretty happy how the Wizards took the Memphis comeback well. Me? Not so much. It’s fine if the Griz get hot, but Washington really could have gone without the sloppiness to start the 3rd. But it’s not a perfect world, a win is a win, and I’m thankful for how it is.
Well folks, that’s the halfway point of the season. 41 games up, 41 games down. 23-18 will do. In fact, it will more than do. Congrats on a great first half Wizards. Keep that motivation up for the 2nd half of the season.
Eddie Jordan Post Game Quotes:
- “We won, we did enough to win, and we have to get better.”
- “We got the lead and we just didn’t manage the game properly.”
- “We just have problems right now with a quicker, smaller lineup. We saw that against Houston, we saw that tonight.”
- “You gotta contain the ball.”
Doesn’t sound like a happy coach, huh? And therein lies the problem. Aside from DeShawn Stevenson, what other Wizard guard can really play defense? Hell, including DeShawn, what Wizard guard has quick feet on defense? No one.
The Wizards are not going to shut down anyone with individual D, rather, team D is the key. But team D starts with commitment from individuals. Antonio Daniels, being the vet, is always going to work hard on D…even though he cannot keep up with smaller, quicker guards. DeShawn, same thing. Roger Mason…you know he is going to try, he’s playing for his life. Nick Young? Ick. I’m just satisfied with a whole-hearted effort from him.
You see, it circles back to our friend Gilbert Arenas. Can he do the things that Eddie just talked about? Manage the game, work with his teammates on D (instead of constantly playing Kenny Rogers in the passing lane)….we will see.