Game 68: Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons: Live Blog
10:00 – Getting into the game (watching on TV) a little late, 4-4 is the score. McDyess already has 7 rebounds, Rasheed is on the bench with two fouls, Hubie Brown likes the early energy for the Wizards and apotential nickname has emerged for Jamison – “Horse” because as old Hubie says, most of his shots look like they belong in a game of H-O-R-S-E.
5:01 – Actually, maybe horse is not such a good moniker. In any case, Haywood and Jamison answer Hamilton and Prince buckets with a couple dunks, Jamison’s leaning to the side. 13-12 Detroit.
Going with the national ESPN coverage of the game by the way. I like Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier, but I need a fresh look at Les Boulez.
2:09 – So far, the Wizards come out of the gate looking like they want it a little more. Caron hits another trey, the Wiz have nailed 6 shots in a row. Detroit goes down and commits a turnover. Timeout, 23-18 Wiz.
Solid first quarter for the Wizards, Hubie Brown uses compliments such as “unselfish” and “smart decisions” – to state the obvious, the Wizards have approached the game a little more seriously than the Pistons. I’ll take it and the 28-20 lead.
Stats, quickly: Haywood has 11, Wizards have 6 assists on 11 FGs, Wiz @ 55% from the floor, Detroit at 42.9%, Jamison has 4 rebounds, McDyess has 8.
10:49 – Wiz cap at 17-3 run which leads to a Flip Saunders timeout. Hubie is not impressed with the defensive rotation of Detroit. 32-20 Wizards.
9:35 – Eddie calls a timeout of his own after a Wiz lapse (Detroit offensive rebound) leads to a Jarvis Hayes triple.
Lisa Salters reporting with Gilbert Arenas from the sidelines: – Gil was leaving the building tonight after being told he wasn’t going to play…..then he came back to watch the team. Looks like they are going to wait another week “or so” – essentially, the knee just needs a little more time according to the doctors. Gil says, “You can’t let fear get the best of you.” Good words .Also, he had to go find a blazer so he would be able to sit on the bench according to the NBA dress code. [picture of Gil on bench from Gilbertology]
The full story comes from Wizards Insider:
Gilbert Arenas wanted to play tonight but the medical staff would not clear him. Arenas went through shootaround this morning and was preparing himself to play all day long and was obviously angry at the decision. When I approached him, he said something that I can’t repeat hear but the clean version is something along lines of “Now, they are messing with my mind.”
He walked out of the locker room without speaking with reporters and will not be on the bench tonight because he said he does not a have sports coat (which is required by the NBA’s dress code).
On his way out of the door, he said: “Ya’ll don’t have to write anymore. I’m not coming back this season.”
Mike Jones of Wizards Outlet was around to “witness” baby Gil as well. We can all understand frustration…..but there’s more than a hint of immaturity in Gilbert’s actions/words. I’m glad he got it together and came back to the bench.
I like Hubie Brown….insert your AARP joke here, but there’s a certain grandpa comfort that he brings with his color commentary. I feel like I’m watching the game while sitting on his lap…..some might follow that sentence with a ‘no homo’ comment – whatever.
Looking at the graphics for this upcoming 5 game westward swing, I think the Wizards could easily pull off a 3-2 record.
4:50 - Hubie Brown calls Darius Songaila a “true pro” after he gets a nice assist to Blatche for a dunk and before he gets a sweet layup on Theo Ratliff. The Wizards answer a Detroit run to go up 40-33.
Sometimes when the Wizards are playing well, they look like they are trying really hard to do so. Tonight, the game is flowing nicely in their favor. A lot of buckets are looking effortless and smooth.
3:12 – Boy, D-Song is all over the place….great cut to the basket for the hoop. 6 points off the bench for Songaila. Wizards maintain a 42-34 lead.
Speaking of Theo Ratliff to the Pistons. I wonder if the Wizards will ever be in the position to pick up a bought-out veteran on the cheap. Yea, you gotta be more of a contender first — but would Abey Boy ever front the loot anyway?
0:04 – Caron Butler hits a big 3 with four seconds left to seal a great half for the Wizards. Chauncey Billups waits around to complain to the ref about something before going into the locker room. Really solid start as the Wizards take a 47-40 lead.
Eddie seemed to tighten up his bench play, only giving out 27 minutes to Blatche, Songaila, and Mason. The Wiz got out-rebounded by 3, 20-17. However the Washington offense was much more efficient, draining 19 of 36 shots (3-5 from deep) while holding Detroit to 17 makes on 40 attempts. Oh yea, Nick Young is out tonight.
At this point, the Pistons really do have a Need 4 Sheed.
10:30 – Jamison is butter with a bucket – definitely seems like he has more than 15 points. 53-45 Wiz.
9:14 – Wow, Caron Butler is a strong dude. He received a back door pass from Haywood and threw it down on McDyess’ head, subtly clearing him out with the left arm. Antonio was clearly peeved at himself for getting posterized. 55-49 Wiz.
I know the Wizards are moving the ball well, but there are also a lot of holes in the Piston defense which is making it easier for Washington.
6:57 - We gotta find a nickname for Jamison, maybe the Ultimate Warrior? A tough one-handed offensive rebound, a flip up basket, And 1, made FT. 62-54 Wizards.
6:18 – Damn, damn, damn……lessons aren’t being learned as Rasheed gets open for his 3rd three of the quarter. Hu
bie Brown calls for a timeout so that the Wizards get a chance to meet Rash-weed Wallace and know about the things he can do from long distance. Before that can happen, a Lock Smith turnover leads to Piston fast break points allowing the Washington lead to be cut to 3, 62-59.
Rasheed looks like he’s getting a little bulky – he’s definitely favoring the leg with the knee brace a tad.
1:05 – Pecherov comes in….where’s that dude been? No, not in terms of game playing time. But that cat looks like he’s been getting some sun. Do they make tanning booths that large?
0:30 – Roger Mason finally gets on board with a triple. 71-63 Wiz. Gotta have him down the stretch.
Hamilton retrieves the ball after it gets blocked by D-Mac to score the bucket. 71-65 after three. The game is moving along at a decent clip – only 18 FTs attempted in total, along with 23 fouls whistled.
9:00 – Lot going on…..Blatche looks like he hurt himself, but goes down and nails a jumper. Back down the court, Andray Blatche has himself draped all over Rasheed…so the ref justifiably calls a foul on Andray (looks like Rasheed may have got Andray first though). But then, for a reason unbeknownst to me, the ref throws a tech Rasheed’s way. Uhh….yeeeea, his reactions are funny.
Coming back to see the replay, looks like Wallace got the tech for an elbow to Blatche. But you can’t blame him too much. I guess it was good work on Andray’s part to goad him into emotion.
8:46 – Then, after the tech…on the very next play, Wallace drives to the basket and gets wrapped around the neck by Haywood. Heads remain calm.
7:25 – Mason Junior pushes the Wizards back up 10 with a trey. 81-71 Washington.
Only two Wizards points have come from fast-breaking…guess Eddie J’s half-court offense is clicking tonight.
4:48 – The Pistons are not draining open looks, the Wizard maintain a 10 point lead, 83-73, after another board battle won by Jamison.
3:30 – Sweet Caron driving scoop shot, he’s looking pretty healthy this game. 85-73 DC.
2:28 – Uh oh…..two straight shots by Billups, the 2nd a trey. 85-78 Wizards
But big plays come from Daniels and Haywood. They both get something going to the basket and fouls. Daniels misses the FT, Haywood makes his. 90-78 with 1:38 left.
1:21 – A key offensive rebound by Caron Butler may have sealed the deal. Wizards can’t convert, Pistons get a layup to cut it to 8 with a minute left.
Three-point shooting Rasheed Wallace contemplates the game at the end of the bench.
0:25 – The Wizards handle the zone press of the Pistons well….can I say it? DAGGAR!! Stevenson nails a three to make it 95-83 Wizards. The vampire is dead and the coffin has it’s final nail.
Nice work for the DC Wizards. Detroit unmotivated, refs…..blah, blah, blah – A Win is a Win and a Loss is a Loss. It was really a solid effort from start to finish.
To sum it up: “The Ball Don’t Lie!!!” (neither does the NBA.com box score)