A lot of people are drooling over JaVale McGee today (myself included….and justifiably so). The poll on the Wiz-Jazz game blog at Bullets Forever even indicates that McGee should be last night’s player of the game. I will politely disagree. Yes, the Wizards would not have won with game without the young Choppa, but my game MVP is none other than Antawn Jamison.
The Gentleman Jamison spoke words about the attitude in the locker room and backed them up. Statistically, it wasn’t one of his better games….AJ’s stat line actually teeters on mundane (for his standard). But he made his presence felt…..Jamison was all over the court, getting his hands on loose balls, hitting a huge trey, and overall, TCOB.
The Most Important Stat: Sure, the Wizards out-rebounded, out-stole, and out-blocked the Jazz, but getting to the free-throw line was crucial. I noticed that for about 95% of the night, the Wizards refused to settle and were persistent in getting into the paint….which led to the Wiz shooting 40 free-throws. But the key part, unlike in the Milwaukee game, was that Washington took advantage of getting to the line and made their free-throws, sinking 32 to shoot 80%.
A game to build upon? We can only wait and see. (oh yea, this also happened)
Who Said What From Around The World Wide Web:
- The Washington Wizards not only avoided making dubious franchise history with a 95-87 win over the Utah Jazz last night, they also may have discovered a formula for future success. — It includes plenty of all-star forwards Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, a healthy dose of rookie center JaVale McGee and second-year guard Nick Young, and the kind of fourth-quarter execution at both ends of the court that Coach Eddie Jordan has been looking for, well, since last season.
[Wizards' Win a 'Relief': Butler, Jamison Carry the Load to Help Avoid the Franchise's First 0-6 Start - The Washington Post]
- Facing the worst start in franchise history, worse than even last year’s 0-5 eyesore, Jordan turned to his oh-so-young bench, which included McGee. Blocking three shots, changing the trajectory of at least 10 more, making Carlos Boozer think toomuch inside the paint, McGee played 27 of the most important minutes of his six-game pro career.
[Mike Wise: Kid Dynamite - The Washington Post]
- The Wizards had their finest defensive night of the season, limiting the Jazz to 87 points — the fewest of a Washington opponent this season — while racking up 17 steals and 10 blocks. The Wizards forced Utah into 18turnovers and cashed them in for 21 points. They also won the rebounding battle, 42-27. The Wizards also out-did the Jazz 22-16 on second-chance points.
[Post-game thoughts - Wizards Outlet]
- It’s only a start but it was a good one. There was so much to like last night. The Wizards out rebounded a very good rebounding team. The defense came up with big stops and late in the game DeShawn Stevenson was very effective when matched up with Deron Williams.
[Day After - Washington Wizards Blog]
- “What we saw tonight was what we can become and what we can be if we work hard for 48 minutes and respect the game of basketball, and we respect that team and that coach and that system more than any in the NBA,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “That was a quality win against a quality opponent. … And hopefully it’s a sign of what we can be and do on a nightly basis.”
[Wizards finally get first win - The Washington Times]
- We’ve been banging the drum for years, and don’t mean to pass on giving credit to the Wizards for an admirable win, but the Jazz are going to keep themselves one step short of championship-caliber if they keep fouling players that don’t deserve to be fouled.
[Behind the Box Score - Ball Don't Lie]
- Not much to say other than this was a game that should have been won and will be one of those games that we look back on in April and wince at when we’re starting out on the road again because we finished a game back in the standings.
[Recap - Utah Jazz at Washington Wizards - Blame it on the rain, yeah, yeah - SLC Dunk]
- Congratulations JaVale McGee, you’re the next contestant on “Let the Jazz make you look like an All-Star”.
[11.12.08 Jazz @ Wizards - True Blue Jazz]
- Two other quick thoughts. One… I blame J-Slo almost completely for the game. I won’t blame the refs too much because I didn’t catch the game, but they deserve some of the blame, it seems. (Not to take anything away from the Wizards… they made it a game even when some thought they wouldn’t, and they took it when the Jazz decided they’d rather sit & pick their noses.) And 2nd, the McGee kid. Wow. The last 2 years, both the Jazz & Wizards have gone wing & big-man… with the Wizards having picked first both times. The Wizards ended up with Nick Young & McGee, the Jazz with Almond & Koufos. Early indications have to have the Wizards on top, right?
[Harpring Returns, Jazz Lose - The Utah Jazz Blog]
- Wiz Discuss Their Win [video via DC Sports Bog]
- Change The Wizards Can Believe In [Stet Sports]
- Sloan and Pollin, A Long-Delayed Reunion [Wizards Insider]