I can't get the image of Spencer Hawes jetting past Andray Blatche and dunking out of my mind | Truth About It.net

I can’t get the image of Spencer Hawes jetting past Andray Blatche and dunking out of my mind

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Updated: December 17, 2009

Ok, the look on Gilbert Arenas’ face is etched in my mind too … but I’m also getting used to it.

Arenas had one of his better offensive games of the season against Sacramento on Wednesday night. It was just his fifth game getting to double figures in field-goals made (10), tied for his second most free-throws attempted (12) and third most made (10), only the fourth time he took more than three three-pointers and shot fifty-percent or better (3-6), and his sixth time shooting 45% or better when taking 10 or more shots (.455).

All signs of progress for Gilbert.

Of course, the team is pretty much the same. Last night was the fourteenth time the Wizards have shot below 45% this season (43.2%). They are 1-13 when that happens. It was also the thirteenth time the Wizards have tallied less than 20 assists (13). They are 1-12 when that happens.

Coincidentally, the Wizards are 0-11 when they have less than 20 assists and shoot less than 45%. The are 5-3 when they have 20 or more assists and shoot better than 45%.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a chart expressing the relationship between number of assists and FG% in each of the Wizards’ 23 games this season, green circles are wins.

The progress of individuals be damned. This is a glaring sign of team that’s not playing like a team, rather as individuals trying to make things happen on their own.

The question isn’t when will the Wizards make that one single play turning close losses into wins. Rather, it’s about who is responsible for getting this fractured group to start playing as a single, cohesive unit that spreads the floor, shares the ball, and makes the easier shots created for them in the offense.


{what others are saying}

[Craig Stouffer - Washington Examiner]

Do we have to go through this again? Okay, the Wizards (7-16) lose, 112-109, at the Kings (11-13), their sixth defeat in a row, a half-dozen that they’ve dropped by a total of 14 points. I’ve tried to stay away from using the “basketball gods” jargon that Wizards head coach Flip Saunders prefers but it’s more clear tonight than ever before that there ain’t no good ju-ju with Washington right now.

[Michael Lee - Washington Post]

The Gilbert Arenas that the Washington Wizards had been waiting on — the one who could go on explosive one-man runs and carry his team back from despair — appeared close to returning on Wednesday night at Arco Arena. When his team fell behind by 12 points against Sacramento with little more than six minutes remaining, Arenas placed the team on his cartoonish shoulders and willed the Wizards back with punishing drives to the basket and dishes to his teammates.

[Mike Prada - SB Nation]

In the end, it’s Evans who wins, stealing the ball from Arenas and sealing the win for the Kings.  It’s a play that signifies the direction of these two teams.  One is young and up-and-coming, the other is old and on the downswing.  One thought this would be a year they would contend, the other knew it was going to be a rebuilding year.  One has a bright future, the other … well … not right now at least.

[Jason Jones - Kings/NBA Blog, The Sacramento Bee]

Evans said he didn’t realize his foul of Arenas before the ball had been inbounded would give the Wizardsa free throw and possession.

But after he forced Arenas into a turnover (Evans wasn’t credited with a steal) Evans couldn’t wait to shoot two free throws.

“That is something I dreamed, to get the ball in the end,” Evans said. “I got the ball in my hands and made the free throws.”

[Zach Harper - Cowbell Kingdom]

It’s not that he made a play to win the game. It’s that he made a play that never gets made to win the game. We never see defensive takeovers on the final plays of games. We may see a tipped shot or the defense at the mercy of whether or not a bad shot will fall as a player chucks it from 20-feet while fading away unnecessarily. But we never see the possession just ripped from a superstar’s hands from a rookie who simply decides not to be the guy to give up the shot.

[Tom Ziller - SacTown Royalty]

If I hadn’t watched it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it. That entire final sequence, that is. The what-the-Frahm! turnover on the sideline inbounds play that gave Caron Butler the ballin the open court. The loose ball foul on Tyreke Evans that let the Wizards get within one point. And, of course, the brilliant steal in isolation — plus the two sunk free throws — which iced the game.

[Mike Jones - Washington Times]

“It’s frustrating because I live for moments like this, and I’m just trying to work my way [back],” Arenas continued. “And the team has been behind me since we started and I feel like I’m letting them down right now, especially because they were used to the glory days. But I guess I can’t hit every game-winner. At one point I was 19-for-21 on end of game shots. At the end of the day, it all evens out and one day I’m going to start hitting them again.”


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