Wiz Hug It Out In Win Over T-Wolves
The Wizards blew a huge lead in a matter of minutes in the 2nd quarter….so what? They won, didn’t they? [Game 54 Blog @ Bullets Forever]
Ok, so Antawn Jamison’s face at halftime above says it all. He was pretty much constipated over the 10 2nd quarter turnovers that let the T-Wolves back in the game.
One day this team will learn not to make it so hard on themselves…..but sucking wind is part of the growing pains, right?
The good part…..how ’bout that Javaris Crittenton fellow? Boy he’s coming along.
- Love him in the open court.
- He makes a mistake here and there in transition, but is not as erratic as you think.
- Quick decision maker when facing pressure on the break.
- Good court vision — becoming comfortable with where his teammates will be.
- Willing to pass first, but also looks to make aggressive drives to the basket.
- Gaining confidence in his shot — as evidenced by that huge bucket he hit with 55 seconds left and no qualms.
The development of Crittenton should, in the least, make some of those Ernie Grunfeld haters pipe down a little bit. Remember the Wiz essentially got him for nothing (came as part of the Antonio Daniels-Mike James trade, but also involved the Wiz shipping the highly protected pick of the Grizzlies back to them).
Trust Ernie Grunfeld, he’s got this GM shit.
Meanwhile, two opposite facial expressions share an embrace.
Not much to really say about this one folks. That was two bad teams flopping around and the Wizards, after blowing a 19-point first half lead, pulled it out thanks to a 16-5 game-closing run that included a pair of big threes by Mike James (the guy who once got Kevin McHale to give him a fat payday in Minny – how ironic).
Javaris Crittenton continues to blossom for the Wizards and recorded 11 points and four assists, but his impact goes beyond what shows up in the box score because often he’s pushing the ball up the floor and making the pass that leads to assists. Being in the game down the stretch is proof that he’s earning the trust of Ed Tapscott.
It’s almost sad how I’ve become conditioned to know that the Wizards just can’t hold onto a substantial lead for more than 10 minutes. Even as the Wizards’ lead ballooned to 19, I knew that it would probably be a competitive ballgame again by the halfway point of the 3rd Quarter. They actually exceeded my expectations by letting the lead drop from 17 to 5 in a two minute span late in the 2nd Quarter. In that stretch, the Wizards had an eight second violation, three other turnovers, and a goaltending call. That’s not going to get it done.
As usual, the Wizards mixed sloppy play with moments of brilliance. Minnesota scored 20 points off 18 turnovers, but the Wizards also shot 51.3 percent and their young players sparked hope for the future.
“It felt good. This is exactly what I expected as a captain, and Antawn as well. After a good practice, guys came out with a lot of energy and played good basketball. That’s the goal – to play .500 basketball the remainder of the 28 games now.” -Caron Butler
Finally, Wolves fans should take this opportunity to thank former Puppy Mike James. James ended the night with a -1 while daggering the Wolves with late threes. In the middle of the game, James was especially putrid, giving up a -18 while offering little in terms of basketball prowess. His only FGMs of the night were long balls. He had zero rebounds and no steals.
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- Escape to L.A.: Ex-Wizards Arenas, Young and Crittenton are Coolin’ and Hoopin’
- Ernie Grunfeld: Offensive for Over a Decade, How’d He Get So Defensive? (Pt. 2)