Orlando Inevitably Puts Washington To Rest: Magic 121 – Wizards 94 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Orlando Inevitably Puts Washington To Rest: Magic 121 – Wizards 94

Updated: April 8, 2010

Quotes, notes, observations and pictures from the Wizards’ 121-94 loss to Orlando.

Seconds away from tip-off, there looked to be a surprisingly crappy crowd in Orlando … oh wait, they’re playing the Wizards on a Wednesday night. Also, Stan Van Gundy got a pre-game ‘t-shirt nap’ in front of reporters.

{1st Quarter}

From the start, Andray Blatche looked lethargic, just jogged to spots on offense and defense. Oh, wait, maybe I should be more optimistic. Okay, we’ll say he was “pacing himself.”

9:50 >> Fabricio Oberto and Dwight Howard get a little testy when jostling for position in transition … Oberto was called for a foul, but you can tell Howard was babyishly making extra curricular contact. Steve Buckhantz pointed out the “testy” nature of Orlando. Fabrico proceeded to bait Howard into an offensive foul on the very next play.

It’s like the Magic want to play with a chip on their shoulder, but don’t always know how to correctly channel their emotions. Hence, I think they will not get past the Eastern Conference Finals.

9:05 >> More jostling. My friend Mike Prada of Bullets Forever loves to crack on Oberto when he flops, but you also have to give that guy a ton of credit. Playing hard, against Dwight Howard, when he used to wear a heart monitor during games, after coming off heart surgery last summer … and at 35 years old.

Oh yea, Mr. NBA ref … what are you looking at? I guess not Dwight Howard’s foot out of bounds while he’s still touching the ball. Yes, it’s much harder to see a call in real-time speed, but on this particular instance, the entire Wizards bench saw it from the other side of the court. The ref is right there, with a clear view. Oh well. C’est la vie.

8:34 >> Blatche loses Rashard Lewis in transition … when he finds him, he closes out poorly with his hands at his side. Lewis blows right by him for a layup.

Instead of taking more responsibility, here Andray’s almost standing straight up while looking for help from his teammates … already conceding defeat. Maybe he thought that 8-foot tall matador under the basket was going to help. And if that’s the case, understandable.

6:56 >> Here some switching gets confused … I’ll go ahead and blame it on Oberto … just to pick on someone else for a change and because it was his fault.

Andray Blatche would like to blame someone too. See here how he’s pointing out the fact that someone missed their assignment? … while not attempting to block out Dwight Howard as Rashard Lewis‘ shot is going up. Helpful Dray, helpful.

Now somehow after the miss, Oberto is able to get all the way over to at least contest for the offensive board … even though Howard ends up with it (but double-dribbles and turns the ball over).

Where’s Andray Blatche? Exactly, he’s watching the show. He often does not show enough heart to be a halfway decent rebounder for his size and ability.

On the other hand in the first quarter, Nick Young was made some decent cuts on offense and JaVale McGee was aggressively defending Howard by working hard and by trying to gain leverage. Nice work kids!

4:31 >> Finally, perhaps the first or second jumper of the year taken by JaVale that I’ve had absolutely no problem with. If Dwight Howard is giving you that much room at the free-throw line, take it … as long as McGee assesses the situation and is a willing passer, which he usually isn’t. 13-11 Orlando.

Overall, I’d say that McGee did a very good job on Howard in the first … the Magic are also quite crappy at getting him the ball sometimes.

Of course, and unfortunately, JaVale McGee picked up his third foul with 2:14 left in the first quarter. He was doing well after Flip left him in there with two … but the foul was probably inevitable. Why haven’t the Wizards signed an extra big man from the D-League again?

Shaun Livingston, picking up teammate Nick Young when he’s down.

Nick Young had a very nice 1st quarter, 4-7 FGs, 9 points. Sure, he took some bad shots, but he was aggressive. He worked to get closer to the hoop in a limited amount of dribbles instead of settling for what Orlando gave him.

25-24 Washington

{2nd Quarter}

The Magic started out the second down one, but were able to extend their lead to 10 points at 43-33 by the 5:00 mark of the period.

Lineups featuring Earl Boykins and Al Thornton (who was playing for the first time in seven games), and to an extent, James Singleton, just weren’t working out.

Shaun Livingston and Mike Miller checked in for Boykins and Thornton during a timeout that Flip Saunders took at the 4:58 mark. Over the rest of the period, the Wizards outscored the Magic 11-7, finishing the half down 50-44.

When things weren’t going well in the second, Washington was having poor offensive possessions and Orlando moved the ball better. Simply put, point guard play is so crucial. Boykins is not good at moving the ball, and neither is Cedric Jackson in the limited chances he’s been given.

If the Wizards don’t keep Livingston next season and just mainly depend on Gilbert Arenas to run the show, along with the obvious need to have a promising third point guard on the roster, the Wizards will be in trouble.

{3rd Quarter}

11:29 >> Here, even Mike Miller is telling Dray to swing the ball to his buddy Nick, who might have a shot, or might be able to further swing it to Miller … you know, to get the ball popping, moving.

Nope, 6’11” trey ball miss. Who are you? Kevin Durant?

10:49 >> Andray Blatche can be a willing passer … and gets Mike Miller his fifth dunk of the year. Who’s going to win between him, Nick and Shaun? 53-46 Orlando.

According to the Dunk-o-Meter on CBS, Young and Livingston both currently have six dunks each and Miller has five.

6:23 >> An offensive rebound and immediate put-back by Nick Young. How many times has that ever happened? 60-54 Orlando.

0:01 >> Not sure who Fab Oberto was passing the ball to at the end of the third, but it was crappy and it lead to a last-second trey by Jason Williams, which came a second after another three by Williams, putting the Magic up 84-65.

Some point to this moment as the deflating, game-changing moment … but it was really decided long ago in the second quarter when Saunders was forced to play reserves who just can’t get the job done.

{4th Quarter}

The fourth starts with a crappy shot from Blatche …. but the Wizards are down 19. So, no surprise.

9:57 >> The Rhythmic Nick Young … haven’t seem him be this comfortable all year. 17 points. 88-71 Magic.

The game becomes bad Wizards shots, leading to transition opportunities for Orlando, leading to scrambling Wizards help defense, leading to being step-behind in rotations, leading to easy Magic shots … some confusion by the Wizards on zone defense led to this too.

I like what Nick did on offense in this game, I really did. But when you’re constantly getting abused by JJ Redick off the dribble? …. sorry kiddo, you’re not going to stick around in the league unless you DRASTICALLY change your ways.

The most frustrating part is that when these Wizards get down, they have no resiliency. They just say eff it and start doing whatever they want. They pull down their shorts and start crapping the floor when the game looks in hand for the other team, cementing  the idea of mental weakness. These kids should be playing hard until the end. They don’t. It’s disappointing.

Yea, yea …. young kids, chemistry, make all the excuses you want. But when Marcin Gortat is beating fools down the floor and catching lob dunks, the pride has been eviscerated from this team.

2:52 >> Cedric Jackson finally scores as a Wizard.

I’ll also say this, James Singleton had a “whatever dude” game.  Six points and one rebound in 25 minutes.

And that’s about it … Magic win 121-94.

{Links & Quotes}

[Michael Lee – Washington Post]

Fabricio Oberto thought Mike Miller was open near the foul line, so he didn’t have any problem lobbing a pass his direction with only two seconds left in the third quarter. What seemed like a harmless outlet pass quickly turned into a deflating mishap for the Washington Wizards, when Orlando Magic forward Matt Barnes deflected the ball and reserve Jason Williams tracked it down, flung the ball toward the basket and watched it splash through the net.

It was Williams’s second three-pointer in just two seconds, which gave the Magic a 19-point lead going into the fourth quarter. The Wizards had nothing left for the final frame, as they lost 121-94 before a sellout crowd at Amway Arena.

“That kind of took the air out of the balloon,” Nick Young said of Williams’s back-to-back, back-breaking three-pointers. “That hurt a little bit.”

[Kelly Dwyer – Ball Don’t Lie]

The Wizards take bad shots, and sometimes those shots go in. You don’t think Nick Young is going to go one-on-five and pull up for the 19-footer, because it’s a terrible move; but he does it and the shot goes down and now you’re down a point after the first quarter. You can’t really prepare for it, you just have to keep playing your game and be ready to pounce when the law of averages takes hold.

[Michael Lee – Wizards Insider]

Miller said that he would look into being in a winning environment when he signs his next free agent deal. “Obviously, if you are not wanting to win, you are not in it for the right reasons. I definitely would like to win,” Miller said. “The last couple of years have been rough for me. At the same time, we will see what is out there.”

[Ben Q Rock – Orlando Pinstriped Post]

Given the final score, and the Magic’s spectacular fourth-quarter highlights, it’s easy to forget how competitive the game was. The Wizards exploited the Magic’s many first-quarter miscues and jumped out to a 23-17 lead before Orlando closed on a 7-2 run. And though the Magic’s second unit pushed Orlando’s lead to 13 points, the Wizards closed the second period on a 11-4 run of their own as Orlando lost its focus on D, and thus trailed by just 6 at intermission.

[Philip Rossman-Reich: Orlando Magic Daily]

All Orlando needed was a spark. One great play to wake up a lethargic effort and a lethargic crowd, hungry for playoff intensity but not getting the opponent that has earned it. The Wizards hung around, but it was evident the Magic were waiting to open up their lead and cruise to a victory.

Jason Williams provided that spark.

Williams got free for a 3-pointer with two seconds left to give Orlando a 16-point lead. A pretty good margin heading into the final quarter against a team headed to the lottery. But Matt Barnes knocked away the inbound pass and found Williams, who quickly drained his second three to end the quarter.

Cedric Jackson on losing for first time in 11 NBA games

[via Wizards Insider]

Untitled from Wash Post Sports on Vimeo.

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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.