Well, there’s not much I can say about Friday night’s home loss to Philly. Hell, there’s not much I want to say at this point. [Wizards-Sixers Game 24 Blog on Bullets Forever]
I’m seeing some progress, especially out of Andray Blatche. But without a W in the books, the frustration continues to mount regardless of trying hard.
What really baffles me is the inability to score down the stretch….the inability for the stars, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler, to will the team to a win by taking matters into their own hands and dropping the ball in the bucket.
As you may have read, and some of this is also covered in the web hits below, no one has a huge problem another Wizard taking an open shot when opposing defenses focus on Butler and Jamison…..it just shouldn’t become a habit.
So why are Butler and Jamison “less clutch”? Your guess is as good as mine. We all know that the absence of Brendan Haywood has had a significant effect on the team defense, but the Wizards continue to be without the offensive weapon of Agent Zero. So for the life of me, I can’t figure out the reason for the season to season scoring drop off when the game is on the line.
I’ll let some stats from 82games.com illustrate:
“Clutch” is defined as: 4th quarter or overtime, less than 5 minutes left, neither team ahead by more than 5 points
Caron Butler 07-08 Clutch Stats (numbers are per 48 minutes of clutch time)
PTS: 38.0 (15th in the NBA)
Caron Butler 08-09 Clutch Stats
PTS: 24.6 (62nd in the NBA)*
*Darius Songaila is leading the Wizards with 34.6 clutch points per 48 minutes.
(BTW, Antawn Jamison went from 27.7 clutch points per 48, ranked 43rd, to 18.2 points, ranked 106.)
The Mentality of Clutch…..sounds like a case for Malcolm Gladwell.
- Interim coach Ed Tapscott didn’t have a problem with Blatche and Stevenson taking the shots. He was, however, pained by watching them take the shots that they did.
“Their defense is designed to take away our best two players. Those guys over there get a paycheck, and obviously if you’re playing us, you want to take away our two All-Stars,” Tapscott said. “But, what we need to do at that time is take the appropriate shots. And one of the things I’m trying to desperately get across to our guys is, you don’t have to take jump shots. Drive the ball.” [Washington Times]
- “It was a situation where we [Butler and Jamison] were loaded up on and Andray, he had a great game and he had a great look. DeShawn had the same thing and we have to live with that. I trust my teammates enough to make those shots.” -Caron Butler
- As far as our late-game execution, most of it was great Philly defense. They denied Antawn and Caron the ball, double-teaming the strong side and rotating effectively. The shots by DeShawn and Dray down the stretch weren’t bad ones, they just didn’t go in. Gotta credit the 76ers there. [Bullets Forever]
- The Wizards finally won the rebounding battle (43-34) and the second-chance points battle (18-5), but they couldn’t translate that into the win. They committed 16 turnovers (every starter had at least two turnovers for the Wizards) which led to 23 Philly points and again struggled from the perimeter (10-for-27 = 37 percent). [Wizards Outlet]
- “Stats can tell you whatever you want them to tell you. So they are a tool. I like to use stats as a tool to describe certain circumstances. But using stats only is like watching a black-and-white television: You’re not getting any of the nuance of color.” -Ed Tapscott
- Andre Miller is a monster. I take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about him. I still think Philly should try and trade him, but not because I don’t like him, because he’s old and in a contract year, and oh yeah, this team isn’t very good. Send him to a contending team while he’s still got something left, because the Sixers are at least a year or two away from being serious contenders. [Liberty Ballers]
[photo source: flickr/Keith Allison]