Caron Butler is out again (I guess this is the “tanking it” that many have been calling for — you know and I know that if this game meant something, Tuff Juice would be spilling himself on the court.)
11:48: Andray v. Yao….Ming stars off with a fade away miss, Blatche played decent D on him the last time out.
11:00: Instead of staying with Battier,Young zones to Scola with the ball….Jamison is there, but could stand to be closer as Scola can shoot…..Who’s Your Daddy Battier is open in the corner for the swing pass…..three ball. 3-2 Houston.
10:46: Andray takes a college three (top of key) with 15 on the shot clock — don’t care if you’re open Andray — No, No, NO!!
9:50: Houston is letting Andray have the open 16 footer….and for good reason, he misses again.
8:48: James and Blatche run the pick and roll, but a finger roll attempt is not what you want to see your big guy do in that situation….miss.
8:03: Wiz in transition…..Nick Young pulls up for a short jumper….misses — would’ve liked to see him be more aggressive.
7:45: Backdoor cut in early Princeton gets Mike James a layup, pass from Jamison. 8-7 Wizards.
6:49: Mike James great hustling anticipatory steal…..cuts off McGrady to score the fastbreak layup. 12-9 Wizards.
So far…..Defense is…..better (as a team) — Jump shooting = very bad.
6:14: Young jumper miss – 2nd chance – Jamison jumper miss – 2nd chance – timeout – Jamison gets blocked out of bounds – Jamison jumper miss. :5:44
Wizards: 6 points in paint, 4 fastbreak points, 4 points off turnovers, 12 total points (other two came off Blatche FTs), 4-12 from the field.
4:17: McGuire hands in passing lane, steal….Wiz run….Nick Young misses corner three.
2:54: Nick Young travels — uh….maybe we should start Stevenson again?
Got a McGee, Jamison, McGuire, Stevenson and James lineup in.
2:24: Jamison breaks the ice with his first FG — wasn’t the easiest attempt over Scola — shakes his head going down the court — misses a short jumper his next time down. 18-16 Rockets.
0:24: Mike James with a gutsy drive to the hoop for the bucket and the foul (misses FT).
0:05: There goes quick-trigger jumping McGee…..scouting report on him….Scola travels, but McGee practically jumps over him on a pump fake and goes tumbling precariously. They call the foul on McGee.
Well, believe it or not, the Wizards are in the game for two reasons: Mike James (8 points) and defense. Yep, Double-Take….Houston 22-21 after 1.
Songaila, Stevenson, Young, Blatche and Etan Thomas to start 2nd….I’m sure people are pissed at this lineup for some reason.
D-Song gets a quick 4 points and a rare rebound. 25-22 Wiz.
9:08: Dixon comes in for Nick Young…..I can sense some sort of grumbling. “But Player Development!”
8:33: More bad jumpers from Andray Blatche…airball.
8:02: Andray Blatche is not strong with the ball, Artest knocks it out of his hands and off his foot. Only the 2nd turnover for the Wiz (the other came on Nick Young’s travel).
7:40: Etan loses a tough pass to catch for turnover #3.
6:54: Ugh….Stevenson with an open look from three with the shot clock running down — misses everything.
6:40: Artest nails a three…..but Andray does a good thing and runs the court, gets block position on Artest, receives the lob and powers in a layup. 29-27 DC (yea, from reading the account, you would never know the Wizards are up)
6:09: Dixon nails three….Dixon forces a turnover….Dixon drives and scores on Yao Ming. But Player Development!! (Uh yea…..I’d rather see who’s playing well, regardless of our record, over youthful cluster-fucks for the sake of precious player development.) 34-27 Wiz.
Houston looks very disorganized….not playing like a team at all. I know that Wilbon likes to gush over the Rockets, but with McGrady claiming he won’t play in back-to-backs, and the PG lineup including the likes of Rafer Alston, Aaron Brooks, and the rarely seen Luther Head, I don’t see this team going far even if they do make the playoffs.
The Rockets are making a mini run by going to Yao and Scola inside…..while Songaila is having his struggles on offense against the bigger Rockets. 39-33 Wiz.
There has also been a Crittenton sighting…..albeit brief. Player development.
1:14: Songaila has been hit/miss on offense, but he gets a steal from a driving Artest that leads to an unguarded Mike James layup. Ronnie Artest has 5 turnovers. 43-33 Wiz.
On another note, Etan has been doing a nice job against Yao….and instead of missing jumpers like Blatche, he’s getting rebounds.
Player Development: With 1.7 seconds left in the half and the Wizards taking the ball out under their own basket, Andray Blatche makes a bad pass that gets picked off by Ron Artest who makes a shooting motion from half court as Nick Young fouls him. Tapscott argues that Artest wasn’t shooting, no dice. Artest only makes one of three FTs.
In the first half, the Wiz held the Rockets to 12/36 shooting…..and you really can’t say that Houston was just shooting like a one armed man with no index finger. Washington actually packed in the D….thanks to the “manning up” (as Phil Chenier put it) of Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Andray Blatche, while being pretty adept at covering Houston on the perimeter.
What else?…..work in paint….(a side-effect of determination) — The Wiz outscored Houston 28-8 in the painted area. Jamison has 11 points, Mike James has 10. 45-36 Wizards.
10:53: Dominc McGuire youthful mistake….doesn’t turn his head, doesn’t see the cutter….easy layup by Battier. 47-38 Wiz.
10:33: Insane circus shot by Nick Young….benefited from a friendly bounce too. 49-38 Wiz.
9:30: Great pass from D-Mac to a cutting Jamison. 51-40 Wizards. So refreshing to know McGuire has passing skills.
8:41: Scola keeps getting his, 6 points in a row…..Tapscott calls a timeout. 51-44 Wiz.
8:20: Rockets leave him open…..hesitation….but Andray Blatche finally hits the jumper from the top of the key.
7:15: Young stays aggressive….hits a short ‘spin around the toilet bowl’ J in transition. 55-46 Wiz.
6:14: Andray hits another long jumper from the wing….gotta develop that youth (someone told him to keep shooting those open shots). 57-49 Wiz.
4:42: Jamison is heating up with two quick jumpers…he’s got 19 points. Another good start to the 3rd quarter for the Wiz. 61-51 DC.
4:00: Unfortunately, McGrady is starting to heat up too — 13 points.
Game stoppage…Andray Blatche is bleeding all over the place after catching an errant Jamison bow going for a board.
3:35: More Jamison….baseline runner set up by a Nick Young drive. 63-53 Wiz.
2:21: Etan Thomas the veteran draws a charge….6th turnover from Ron the erratic o
Antawn Jamison is being a 3rd quarter warrior…..he’s throwing his body all over the place, and bodying up Ron Artest….not too many players have the moxie to try to do that, much less actually do it.
0:20: Jello hands Andray loses a rebound to Ron Artest….gotta squeeze it.
Blatche misses a three at the buzzer, but a great 3rd….mostly due to Jamison (15 points) and a little bit of Nick Young (8 points). 72-62 Wizards.
11:20: Andray Blatche nice up and under on Artest….gotta keep pounding it inside on offense (especially while Yao is out). 74-64 Wiz.
9:49: Well…..McGuire is learning by experience I suppose…..he commits and offensive foul and then lets Ron Artest get free for five straight points. “Safe to say the momentum has changed,” says Steve Buck and Ed Tapscott calls a timeout. 74-71 Wizards.
9:20: Blatche has missed a couple crunch time baskets….
9:06: Aaron Brooks misses the 2nd of two FTs, the Wizards watch Carl Landry get the rebound, and Brent Barry nails the 2nd chance three. 75-74 Rockets.
8:48: Blatche makes himself available and McGuire pin-points a long pass….and dunk. 76-75 Wiz.
8:12: Mike James has been quiet…drives…..ahh…charge call. Looks questionable at first sight, but upon slow motion replay, Scola’s feet were outside the charge area….James gives the ref a Nanny look….like he wants to punch him.
7:38: ARG!! The offense slows down and Andray is forced into a couple dribbles…then a missed jumper.
7:00: Songaila answers with a jumper after Blatche took out Brent Barry on a pick. 79-78 Rockets.
6:00: Mike James chucks up a J to tie the game at 81 (actually it was not a three…Wiz down 81-80)
4:39: Scola again (7-8 FG)…nice setup by Brent Barry. The Rockets are starting to expose holes in the interior zone of the Wizards…of course, DeShawn had a lot of trouble keeping up Barry’s drive. 85-82 Houston.
3:48: Mike James drive…tough miss…but a hobbling Jamison tips it in. 85-84 Rockets.
3:10: Jamison draws a foul, 2 FTs – 30 points, 10 boards. 86-85 Wizards.
2:31: Mike James and Andray run a pick and roll…..James drives….looks like there is contact….miss….tip no, tip no…Rocket ball.
2:18: McGuire block (#4) and inside move by Artest…out of bounds off the Wizards.
2:07: Houston goes to Yao….strong move on Blatche, who is trying to hold his ground….help defense by Jamison…AND he gets the steal!!
1:52: Jamison takes a long step-back two….I really don’t like that shot at all (especially with 11 still on the shot clock — need to get a better look)….miss. Wiz still up 1.
1:35: Another iffy three by Artest that’s contested hard by McGuire and Andray secures a huge rebound against Yao Ming, squeezing it.
1:12: DeShawn Stevenson has been quiet the whole game….not trying to do too much at all….even playing good D against McGrady on a couple occasions….the offense gets stagnant…Jamison gives the ball to DeShawn with 8 seconds on the clock…AJ comes to set a ball screen….DeShawn gets free and….HITS a fading shot from the corner. You gotta be f-ing kidding me. 88-85 Wizards.
0:54: Rockets trying to go to Yao…Andray, again, does a great job of holding his ground….Yao short hook that Houston would take any day….but it comes up just short.
0:39: Stevenson with new found confidence…..drives to the hoop…and gets fouled on the layup…..still don’t like the ball in his hands. He makes 1-2 FTs. 89-85 Wizards. Yikes.
0:32: T-Mac hits a two on Stevenson…..who was there to bother, but could not get a good contest…..McGrady, shaky knees and all, can still elevate high and fast on his jumper. 89-87 Wizards.
Dixon, James, McGuire, Jamison and Blatche for the last seconds (good, Stevenson is out…..and yes, I agree with putting Dixon in over both Young…and Crittenton).
0:11: Jamison has a hard time getting position on Artest….McGuire tries to force it into him….steal by Artest.
0:07.2 left…..Rockets got to Yao, obviously, Andray gives a good contest on the baseline turnaround jumper…NO GOOD! — McGuire gets the rebound, is falling out of bounds….throws it in to a Rocket….but the buzzer sounds…WIZARDS WIN!!! 89-87