Earl of Heroics Cuts Nets With 0.4 Seconds Left: Wizards vs. New Jersey In Frames | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Earl of Heroics Cuts Nets With 0.4 Seconds Left: Wizards vs. New Jersey In Frames

Updated: January 30, 2010

After a horrible start, the Wizards, a rather dysfunctional team themselves, came back to beat the New Jersey Nets, the worst team in the NBA. Good for them. For the 81-79 win, Flip Saunders need the 5’5″ Earl Boykins, a mid-November pick-up, to hit a jumper with 0.4 seconds left. Jarvis Hayes, a former Washington Wizard, badly missed a shot at the buzzer for the Nets.

The secondary storyline to the Earl of Last-Second Heroics is the fact that not one of the Wizards’ starters, Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood, scored in double figures, something that hasn’t happened to an NBA team so far this season and perhaps beyond.

The starters combined to shoot 15-42 from the field and not one of them finished with a positive plus/minus (-14, -1, -7, -11 and -5 respectively in the previously given order).

Other the other hand, the reserves, Boykins, DeShawn Stevenson, Nick Young, Andray Blatche and Fabricio Oberto, were responsible for 43 of the Wizards’ 81 points. Boykins (15), Young (10) and Blatche (14) were the double-figure scorers for Washington and each reserve finished with a positive plus/minus (+17, +4, +7, +13 and +7 respectively in the previously given order).

So in a season where just about anything has happened on and off the court, Wizards fans, the ones who are left, have been exposed to yet another new adventure. At least this time their team won.

Three Observations:

1. Jamison set a helluva pick on Kenyon Dooling on the game winning shot. He sold himself as not being an option to set the pick, but then cut hard and displayed a textbook screen.

2. Boykins can get a shot off quickly, with little space between him and a defender. Amazing for his size.

Look at the screen shot below, this is the split-second before Boykins gave the 6’9″ Kris Humphries a hesitation step toward the basket, getting Humphries to drop his back foot even further.

There isn’t much room at all, but it was enough for Earl. Sixteen inches of height between the two, and Boykins gets the shot off clean … pretty cool when you think about it.

3. Mike Miller’s defense is not all that. I’m not sure if he’s still dealing with nagging injury issues, if Courtney Lee is just much too quick for him, or if Miller just isn’t a good defender, athletically. Probably a combination of the three.

Lee scored a lot of points on Miller early, 12 in the game’s first seven minutes to be exact. Lee finished the first quarter with 14 points, I chronicled the first 12 he scored against Miller:

  • 10:18 – Miller actually played decent defense on Lee’s first shot, a fading out of bounds jumper from the left baseline. 2 points.
  • 9:49 – Either Brook Lopez is holding like a mug, or Mike Miller can’t get around a screen. Watched several replays and still can’t tell. Courtney Lee jumper when Haywood’s help gave him space. 4 points.
  • 9:06 – Miller goes behind the pick this time, probably not recommended. Lee makes him pay. 6 points.
  • 8:00 – Is Mike Miller hurt or something? He looks like molasses trying to get around screens, doing more chasing than laterally moving and making himself “thin” to get past screens. Lee floater. 8 points.
  • 7:26 – This time Miller completely turns his back on Lee in the right corner, focusing on the dribbler going baseline left to right. Lee cuts, receives the ball from Dooling, and scores. 10 points.
  • 5:29 – Lee passes to Lopez in the post then cuts right by Miller toward the hoop. Miller didn’t see it, didn’t seal the passing lane … nothing. Lee gets the ball back from Lopez and Miller ends up fouling him. He makes both FTs. 12 points.

{Wizards vs. Nets in 8 Frames}

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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.