Washington Wizards Hit The Sunshine Circuit, But What About Gilbert?
Well, the Wizards won’t be seeing what’s in these bags of tricks.
Why? Because Eddie Jordan has set a curfew for his Wizards team on their 2-game Florida road trip. Curious as to why Eddie would do this, as the Washington Post tells, Jordan has never believed in curfews. Is this a reactionary or preemptive move? In any case, I am in agreement because the idea can’t hurt.
“…..a business trip, not a Florida pleasure trip.” -Coach EJ
Moving on to the Atlanta Hawks loss.
Bad Wizards defense…..what more can I say? At least someone was happy to get free donuts as a result of the Hawks win. Bibby is getting props too.
Bulletin Board Material? Brendan Haywood didn’t have a terrible game against Atlanta as he scored 16 points on 7-10 shooting with 9 rebounds in 32 minutes. Sekou Smith of the AJC, however, didn’t think much of the 2nd half efforts of one B. Todd Haywood: “Al Horford was a man among boys in the second half, putting the clamps on Brendan Haywood after the Wizards center got off to a rousing start in the first half.”
Enough of that…..the game should be a distant memory anyway.
The Wiz first played the Magic in their DC home opener of this season….boy was that game a major disappointment. In my blog of Wizards game #3, I used words like “uninspired” and “disconnected” to describe the Wizards play in the 4th quarter. The opening night crowd in the Verizon wasn’t any help…..”tepid” was fan word of the night. Hedo Turkoglu dropped 25 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds leading the Orlando Magic to a 94-82 win over Washington.
Game #2 against the Magic, which was actually game 60 on the season, occurred just about 2 weeks ago……a more recent distaste in my mouth as it was a game the Wizards really needed, but they elected to get blown out 122-92 instead. Orlando got off to a strong start and never looked back as they scored 34 points in the first quarter. In the opening period, the Magic had the same amount of points in the paint (20) as the Wizards had in total.
This 2nd quarter excerpt sums up the game: 0:47 – The worse “Can’t Feel My Face” I’ve ever seem from DeShawn. He hits a 3 pointer, and it appears as if the half-hearted effort is simply out of habit; I don’t think his hand actually crossed the perimeter of his face at any point.
If you want the full run-down, go read the Pradamaster on Bullets Forever.
My take: We definitely don’t want to throw Gilbert into the mix prematurely. If he doesn’t feel 100% confident in himself, after going through multiple practices, then he should just chill for a while. The problem is, Gilbert talks too much and we listen too much. I really don’t have a problem will Gil’s verbiage, he’s an entertaining cat. But the issue is that what comes out of his mouth changes with the wind and thus, too much energy is spent trying to either interpret what he’s saying or figure out what he’s thinking.
So for me, “just play already” is really a “shut up and play” – It’s already been suggested by team doctors and Gilbert himself that when (and if) he comes back, he will not be the “same old Gilbert” right away. Rather, he will focus less on wheeling through traffic and more on being an Wal-Mart-like distribution hub – even more of a reason for Gil to test himself in a real game; the risk will seemingly be more minimized. And guess what? That’s what this Wizards team needs anyway!
In the end, perhaps Gilbert’s hesitancy is not the result of lacking confidence in his knee, but more because he is not sure that he can abstain from his aggressive offensive ways. Yes, defense and ball-handling are not glorious assignments. But that doesn’t mean Arenas won’t be the go-to guy when the clock is winding down and the game is on the line.
Do what you gotta do Gilbert….a great motto is “better be safe than sorry”….but this quote by some dude named Stephen Kaggwa is good too: “Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.”