Stan Van Gundy Chews Markers (Num, Num, Num, Num)
[Ball Don’t Lie]
Caron Butler looked really bad in the first half of this loss. Truly bad. Like, “he still must be injured”-bad. So when I clicked over in the third quarter, only to be told that Tough Juice was in the midst of what turned out to be a 21-point scoring quarter, it kind of took me by surprise. Then you remember that this is Caron Butler that we’re dealing with, and it all kind of makes sense.
Just a strange, strange game. The Wizards set a franchise record by scoring only six second quarter points but were still in the game with two minutes to go. After Antawn Jamison nailed a three-pointer to draw them within four, the Magic closed with an 8-4 push that included two Jameer Nelson drives to the basket, two Dwight Howard free throws and two Nelson free throws.
The Magic gave the Wizards their chances, they committed 15 turnovers, which led to 13 Washington points. They let the Wizards outscore them in the paint 34-24 — a rarity that the Wizards outscore ANYBODY in the paint.
I don’t have much to say about this game. We couldn’t score in the second quarter because our idiot guards (including Butler) kept dribbling right into the Magic’s trap and we couldn’t find a way to move the ball.
[Third Quarter Collapse]
Turkoglu was the difference, as was Howard’s ability to clean-up misses around the rim. Even then, his focus on both ends of the floor seemed to wane in this game. Only Turkoglu, J.J. Redick (8 points on 4 attempts, 3 rebounds, 1 steal in 18 minutes), and Marcin Gortat (2 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks in 10 minutes) played well, which leads me to believe the Magic are in for a rough go of it tomorrow night in Atlanta. This poor effort only barely nudged them by the East’s worst team tonight.