Mr. $111 Million Drops A Determined 45 Points Against Former Team | Wizards Blog Truth About

Mr. $111 Million Drops A Determined 45 Points Against Former Team

Updated: December 19, 2009

I guess the pressure of a $111 million contract can hang over one’s head when they are injured or aren’t performing well. Must be nice … most would love to be called “Mister $111 Million.”

The idea of contract money being a burden to Arenas seems silly to the common man, and such silliness unfortunately led to Gil putting undue pressure on himself. Can anyone blame him for signing? Can anyone blame him for being injured? Not at all. But I suppose it’s a valid concern when blowhards like Tony Kornheiser spit their ignorant rhetoric. Kornheiser doesn’t go to Wizards games (maybe he watches him), and he doesn’t talk to Gilbert Arenas.

Not to turn Arenas’ 45 into a rant against Kornheiser and those alike. They are entitled to their opinion. But when their imbalanced analysis lacks compassion, patience and reason, it’s hard to take their thoughts on the matter seriously … and that’s why I don’t.

I’ve been hard on/disappointed with Arenas myself in the past. And the patience of Wizards’ fans has been tested for years. But what’s a little more in this holiday season? Gilbert Arenas is not a bad actor and he doesn’t want to let people down … not reasons to pepper him with “worst person in the world” comments as if he were Latrell Sprewell.

At basketball value, 45 points is just a small, but desperately needed, bonus. Some are calling it a breakout, but it doesn’t mean much unless part of a sustained run. But hey, it’s a start, and the beggars of Wizards Nation are in no position to be choosers.

Instead of calling Arenas “Mr. $111 Million”, perhaps it’s better to call him “Mr. 60%” … as in, between Arenas’ points (45) and assists (13), both season highs, he was responsible for 60.2% of the offense, 71 out of 118 points.

Arenas won’t have that high a percentage every game, but for a guy whose hands Flip Saunders said the ball would be in 80% of the time, around a 60% direct contribution in points  is perhaps closer to what the Wizards need to start racking up some wins.

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[Mike Jones – Wizards Outlet, Washington Times]

The Wizards knew they were going to get into a run-and-gun game, and tonight it suited them just fine. Flip Saunders rode Arenas for 43 minutes, and Butler for 46 minutes, and both players gave their team just what it needed. Tonight was not only the breakout game Arenas had been seeking, but it was also the breakthrough that Butler had been searching for all season.

Arenas said he felt like he was due for a big game and that he believed he could carry over the fourth quarter from the Sacramento (minus the Tyreke Evans steal) into tonight. He did. Arenas said since the Wizards came on this West Coast trip, he’s gradually feeling the old Gil coming back. And tonight was the full-blown thing.

[Michael Lee – Wizards Insider, Washington Post]

Arenas’s breakout performance came against the one other team that tried to sign him to five-year, $100-million when he was a free agent in the summer of the 2008. Arenas said he considered returning to the Warriors for nearly an hour.

“I was just happy that somebody else wanted me. It was so, like, they didn’t even think about the knee, so here you go. I was like, well, should I go back to Oakland?” Arenas said.

After speaking with his father, Arenas decided to stay in Washington. He later got a call from Abe Pollin asking him to come back. “I said, ‘Alright Mr. P. No problem.’ “

[Craig Stouffer – Washington Examiner]

It’s not a question of whether or not This is his team. He is the center of what it does and how it plays. Everything starts with Arenas, and the Wizards have spent the better part of two years waiting for him simply to finally take his place, one that they paid – yes, i’m talking about it – $111 million to reserve. The other reason is because the Wizards bench has lost its way. The Earl Boykins experiment seems to have outlived it’s usefulness. DeShawn Stevenson couldn’t throw a rock in the ocean from the beach. To say Andray Blatche is pressing would be an understatement, and Nick Young needs to be as desperate with his defense as he his to make a forced jump shot.

[Jarrett Carter – Stet Sports]

Seemed like for one night only, the gang was back together.

Can they keep it going? Have they put it all together? Was this just a good offensive output against another poor defensive team? All of the questions that obviously standout aren’t easily answered, because the Wizards themselves aren’t altogether certain of what this display is. We do know that it was an outburst, the likes of which we haven’t seen in two years. And we know that they are capable of playing the run-and-gun style that must be employed given their aversion to defense.

[Jake Whitacre – Bullets Forever]

Questions about whether or not Gilbert can fully integrate his game into Flip’s offense will continue to linger until he can consistently put together some solid performances, but last night he put away any doubts about whether or not he still has the physical tools.

[George Panagakos –]

What do you do when your team has lost six in a row and your starting shooting guard has averaged less than 5.0 points per game?  If you’re Gilbert Arenas, you score 17 points and drop 7 dimes by the end of the first quarter.

[Chase Hughes –]

The Wizards were able to escape Golden State with a win despite a career-high 27 points from rookie Stephen Curry. Curry was hot from the opening tip, pacing the Warriors with 14 points in the first quarter. He started the game by making his first five shots and scoring 12 out of the team’s first 22 points. Curry scored 17 points in the first half but the Wizards were able to somewhat cool him off in the second.

[Source: ESPN Stats & Information]

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.