Caron Butler Lottery Daggers
Just over three minutes left in a close game, Wizards up by one point against an almost equally bad team, the thought crossed my mind….do I hope they lose?
I knew the Clippers and Kings, two of the other top three worst teams in the league, were playing each other last night. It would be “nice” to have better chances in the draft.
But just as quickly as the thought entered my mind, it left. All along, I’ve been against “tanking” or even hoping for more losses just for the possibility of maybe having a better shot at the top pick/Blake Griffin. It just doesn’t seem like good basketball karma, not like it matters with the Curse O’ Les Boulez anyway. But still, we’re talking principles…..principalities.
So eff the lottery it was, I was pulling for my Wizards to win, because that’s what fans do. And a win is what I thought we were getting when Juan Dixon squirmed for a layup with 47 seconds left, putting the Wiz up 96-90.
But nothing ever comes easy. Two straight Raptor threes later, the few of us on the Bullets Forever game thread were screaming for the ghosts of Anthony Parker, Michael Ruffin and Mo Peterson to be exercised.
So Juan Dixon, as the third option, hit an off-balanced fader in the lane with 19 seconds left….he probably traveled….Wiz up two. Game winner? Nope. Jose Calderon was allowed to saunter right down the lane for a lay-up…..splendid. At least the Wiz would get the last shot, one of the Dagger! variety.
Thank you Caron Butler….
You thought they were going to blow it, didn’t you?
When they worked so hard to build that six-point lead with 57.8 remaining then watched it vanish in less than 30 seconds, you thought you were re-living another nightmare finish. When Toronto’s Jason Kapono made his second three-pointer to tie the game at 96 with 28.8 seconds remaining, it brought back those horrific finishes earlier this season in Atlanta and Cleveland, when the Wizards watched victories turn to losses in the blink of an eye.
Tapscott said there were moments in the second half when he desperately wanted to give Butler a breather, but the Wizards co-captain didn’t want to sit. “I told him, ‘Nah, I’m finishing this one. I got to finish this game,’ ” Butler said. “We really want to get that 20 wins.”
[Washington Times - AP]
Tapscott was overruled when he tried to substitute Butler in the fourth.
“You let the hot hand stay out there and let it stay as hot as it can,” Tapscott said. “He played the entire fourth quarter. I was desperately trying to get him a rest. Every time I turned around to the assistants and said, ‘I think we should get Caron for a minute,’ they said, ‘Let him play, let him play.’”
But maybe the most disappointing point about this loss was to see Bosh, Marion, and Bargnani logging in 38 minutes, 39 minutes, and 34 minutes respectively. Calderon even logged in over 30 minutes. With this same core a week ago creating some positive buzz going into next year, watching them become ineffective against one of the league’s worst teams was simply disheartening to me.