This Wizards team has me changing directions more times than Jack Nicholson in that maze scene at the end of The Shining. Turn one corner and things look familiarly optimistic…..turn another and I wonder if I’ve just gone in a full circle….returning to the mid-90s. I look down and I’m wearing a red Bullets Starter jacket and some Tims. I grab my DiscMan, pop in Return To The 36 Chambers, and it’s time to go to school.
Uhhh…..no. It’s Thursday morning and I have the privilege of working at a desk in a building all day. Hey, at least my pockets are straight…..well, more like wrinkled with the standard wadded dollar bills/receipts/credit card combo, complimentary to waking up hung-over……except I didn’t go out drinking last night.
Back to the Wizards…..shots don’t fall every once in a while, oh well. Andray Blatche looked kinda good while looking mostly bad, to be expected. Some of the Wiz Kids, Nick Young and JaVale McGee, showed increasing promise. But the opener against the Nets just didn’t feel right. This team has overcome bad shooting nights before, but for some reason, lacked the energy/desire/wherewithal needed to take grasp of the game.
In either case…..it’s a long season. For the full story, check the Wizards-Nets Game 1 Blog on Bullets Forever.
Oh yea….after a long hiatus, the WizzNutzz are back…..and dish the inside scoop about JaVale McGee’s painful trip to France. I hope JaVale at least got a baguette and an ice-pack for his troubles.
Reactions From Around The Web
[Ivan Carter, Wizards Insider]
All you really need to know about tonight’s 95-85 loss to the New Jersey Nets at Verizon Center is that Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison shot a combined nine of 29 from the field and scored 27 points.
The knock on the Nets in preseason was their porous defense. Not so in the opener in Washington. New Jersey held the Wizards to 37 per cent shooting overall and (surprise, surprise) 23.8% from deep as they won 95-85, stopping Washington without a field goal for six minutes late in the fourth. In addition, the Nets turned the ball over only nine times, erasing another preseason concern.
[Mike Jones, Washington Times]
After taking a 13-9 lead with five minutes left in the first quarter, the Wizards entered the second quarter in a 23-23 tie. Washington managed a 46-44 advantage at halftime but came out with a listless performance in the third quarter. The Wizards, who shot 36.8 percent from the floor while getting outscored 25-21 in the quarter, trailed 69-67 heading into the fourth.
[Ivan Carter, Washington Post]
In a game that never featured any flow and few exciting moments, the trouble really started for the Wizards after forward-center Andray Blatche drained a jump shot to draw his team to 80-78 with six minutes to play. Carter (21 points on 9-of-27 shooting) responded with a jumper on Nick Young and the Wizards went ice cold from there……Young traveled. Butler lost the ball out of bounds. DeShawn Stevenson, who connected on 4 of 8 three-point shots and matched Jamison with a team-high 14 points, clanged a long jumper off of the rim. Butler missed a turnaround jumper that rolled in and then back out. Stevenson missed a three-pointer.
And then came the big closeout. Down by a point, Hayes and Carter took over, each scoring 6 points in a 21 – 10 finishing kick that featured those two plus Yi, Lopez and Devin Harris and left no debate over who would win this one. The Wiz were forced into a 1 for 7, 5 turnover, 4 missed free throw nightmare to end this one, and it wasn’t all their own incompetence. The Nets were the better team on the floor at the end.
[Pradamaster, Bullets Forever]
So yeah, tonight’s loss sucked. I cannot believe Caron didn’t shoot the ball down the stretch, nor can I believe that Antawn grabbed all of three rebounds. I just figure they won’t ever be that bad again. Save for Blatche, all the barometer guys played enough minutes and played well. In and of itself, that’s encouraging, and I’m choosing to take the positive signs out of this one.
[Eddie Jordan via dcexaminer.com]
“Encouraging, that’s not the word I’m looking at,” said [Eddie] Jordan. “I’m disappointed we lost the game. We didn’t play well. They had something to do with it. We just didn’t have the positive energy we needed. Sometimes your bench has to give you that. But it’s got to come from your leaders too.”
[Tom Knott, Washington Times]
It was a dispiriting outcome for the home team, which wants to avoid equaling its 0-5 start last season. “Character. Commitment. Connection.” That is the team’s slogan this season. It also could be: “Injuries. Invalids. Infirmaries.”…….The spirit surrounding the opening-night festivities was somewhat understated, possibly because of the anxiety that envelops the franchise. Is the wait on Gilbert Arenas ever going to end? Or is he destined to end up
as the Penny Hardaway of his time?
[My Swog is Phenomenal]
But seriously folks, what happened? We seemed to have a plan in the first half, and in the 2nd, everything seemed to not work. But what was worse, was when plays didn’t work, everyone would stand around and wait for whomever had the ball to do something. I think I saw MAYBE 3-4 cuts through the lane when plays stopped working. I will say this. JaVale McGee can friggin rebound. And block too. I swear, you could tie sheets to that dude’s arms and legs and para-glide his ass all the back to Barcelona.
[Dave D'Alessandro, The Star-Ledger]
For four seasons, Jarvis Hayes served this community with his blood, toil and sweat, but every time he touched the ball Wednesday night he heard noises that weren’t exactly those celebrating a returning hero……..Part of it was his audacity to leave in the summer of 2007, which anyone else would have done given a chance to join a Pistons team that could contend for a title. The other part was something he said 12 months ago — a remark widely inferred as a criticism of their resident star, the perpetually injured Gilbert Arenas, who tends to dominate the ball more than Hayes could appreciate.
[Jarvis Hayes via HoopsWorld]
“They don’t like when former Wizards come in and play well, I guess.”