Pictures & Words: Griz Shake Drops of Wiz Heartbreak 116-111 | Wizards Blog Truth About

Pictures & Words: Griz Shake Drops of Wiz Heartbreak 116-111

Updated: December 29, 2009

Some also call Zach, “El Toro”

{he had 19 total rebounds, 6 offensive}

The duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol were too much for the Wizards to handle. They combined for 43 points and 30 rebounds.

Washington doesn’t have a guy who can take up space in the paint, and that hurts them on both offense and defense. Brendan Haywood has size, but is not agile. Antawn Jamison put up a good fight against Randolph the Bull, but just doesn’t have the size.

The Wizards are missing a dependable post player who can play with his back to the basket and pass (think the Kevin Garnett Flip had in Minnesota or the Rasheed Wallace he had in Detroit).

Andray Blatche can pass, but he’s also Andray Blatche. Plus, ‘Dray doesn’t have a back to the basket game that will make opponents double. Jamison can score in a variety of ways in the post, but once the ball goes into him, he’s going to shoot, not pass. And Brendan Haywood … well, he’s got phone books for hands.

Once again Flip Saunders’ team provided an inconsistent effort, especially on the offensive end. Agent Zero kept the Wizards in the game at times with his long distance marksmanship. Jamison and Butler each pitched in with 24 points.

But it was the bench that came up way short. Nick Young played okay with seven points. But Blatche only had one bucket, a big three at the end of the third set up by an Arenas drive, and Earl Boykins put up a goose egg in seven field-goal attempts. Boykins did, however, have six assists to one turnover.

Gilbert Arenas had an eFG% of .558.

eFG% adjusts for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal.

The rest of the Wizards had an eFG% of .471.

Speaking of Earl Boykins … there clearly wasn’t much he could do above. But more and more, I don’t like playing him.  He affects a lot of possessions negatively on defense and his dribbles are erratic.

Case in point, the possession at the end of the second quarter when Earl held onto the ball for so long before firing up some crazy runner from almost the three point line with two seconds on the shot clock. He missed.

A hurtful, memorable play:

6:28, 4th Q – With a chance to score four quick points and cut Memphis’ lead to six, Arenas got his second steal in a row and passed the ball ahead to Boykins. Earl usually has to worry about getting blocked … so with a breakaway layup opportunity, he got the ball caught on his hip and stripped by Mayo. The Grizzlies quickly went in the other direction and Gasol tipped in a Randolph miss in transition. The Memphis lead got pushed back to 10.

Hey, at least Boykins didn’t play at the end of the fourth and Randy Foye showed a basketball pulse with strong signs of aggressiveness.

There are many factors for losing in this seemingly perpetual “process” of a team trying to play more like a team.

Missed free-throws stand out. From the 2:30 to the 0:30 mark in the 4th, Haywood and Jamison combined to shoot 3-6 from the charity stripe (Brendan went 2-4, Antawn 1-2).

After posting a career-high .735 FT% just two years ago, said to be courtesy of Dave Hopla by many, Haywood is now back to shooting .604 from the line. Not his career worst, but a major step back.

Jamison’s .685 from the free-line is his worst since he joined the Wizards. Antawn has only shot worse from the stripe in two other seasons, his first two in the NBA.

Free-throws are just a small part of the larger equation of losing. When some things go wrong, it seems like just about everything goes wrong. There’s still talk from the Wizards about not getting the “breaks” that they need. And it’s still clear that Wizards fans are watching a team that just doesn’t know how to win.

Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
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.