Unlike DeShawn Stevenson, Dominic McGuire Likes to Feel Faces
“We met the opposition and it was us.”
Another game, another slow start, and more inability to climb out of it because you’re physically and mentally spent from just trying to get even again. That is the position the Washington Wizards again found themselves in tonight.
Toronto, one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, finished with a 39-28 edge on the boards, made three more three-pointers and seven more free throws.
Despite shooting 46.4 percent, the Wizards (7-27) had their chances down the stretch, but as was the case in Tuesday’s nine-point loss at Orlando, they couldn’t finish.
What made the Raptors’ performance more impressive was that Toronto star forward Chris Bosh wasn’t a factor until late in the game.
There is one stretch of basketball in the early fourth quarter that epitomized the substandard effort of the Wizards. At one point in the third quarter after a missed shot, all five Wizards stood around and let Will Solomon get the rebound, and then dribble the ball back out to the top of the key. Then after a few passes, Solomon got the ball and dribbled right through the Wizards’ defense for an uncontested layup. I immediately looked at Coach Tapscott, and he had his face in his hands.
….seeing the 20 people in the arena last night made me wonder how it would feel to be a Wizards’ fan right about now. You don’t have the cap space of an Oklahoma, or the young talent of a Memphis, and have a ton of loot tied up in three players that I’m not even sure complement each other, one of whom may never be able to return to his expected level of play. On top of that, you have a bunch of young talent that just hasn’t really delivered on expectations (Blatche, Young) and yet I have no idea how this club went from being a solid squad last year (even without Arenas) to this mess this year.
Ed Tapscott tried to motivate his players for the game by promising them a day off practice if they won. Didn’t work. The Raptors’ blistering shooting and aggressive defense had them up 21 in the second quarter and by the time Washington decided to play hard, the game was out of reach. A couple Washington runs sparked by unforced turnovers saw them cut the lead dangerously close, but in the end they didn’t have a answer for Bargnani or Bosh, the latter earning a reprieve through some good fourth quarter play. There were some nervous fourth quarter possessions but the Raptors managed to beat the worst team in the East by leading wire-to-wire.
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