Give Andray Blatche credit. On Sunday evening he achieved a career-high eight assists in just the first quarter. Blatche’s passing to start the game against New Jersey set an example for his teammates and established a tone of ball movement for the entire night. Andray finished with 13 assists and his team had 28 total on 38 made field-goals en route to beating the Nets 109-99.
As you can imagine, Blatche being the post player that he is, one who often leads the Wizards in scoring and shots (20 points on 5-18 FGs on the night) and one who can rebound when he applies himself, probably came pretty close to achieving his first career triple-double.
It wasn’t to be, he finished one rebound short.
With 24 seconds left in the game, one excruciating chance for 10 boards presented itself, but Blatche fouled Brook Lopez going for a long Yi Jianlian three-point miss. Rats. Andray skipped down the court in frustration after the blown whistle while Lopez, of the 11-win Nets, simply waited for the game to be over.
The second such chance for rebound 10 came about six seconds later after an air-ball by Chris Douglas-Roberts. The miss practically landed in Cartier Martin’s lap and before he knew it, he was moving the ball away from the on-coming mitts of Blatche, who was seemingly intent on stealing the rebound from his teammate.
Blatche’s reaction when this happened was priceless … kinda reminiscent of how one might react if their dog ate a $50 winning lottery ticket. Losing fifty bucks you didn’t really have in the first place isn’t the worst thing in the world, and it’s also not the dog’s fault.
Blatche going for rebounds with such aggression is a rare treat for Wizards fans. The icing on the cake was when Blatche got the ball after a made New Jersey basket with 4.2 seconds left and raced down the court with reckless abandon. To do what? I’m not sure. But one wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Dray had notions of Ricky Davis. But unlike Ricky, at least Andray didn’t try to shoot at his own basket.
Let’s watch Andray’s missed chances and resulting reactions, as brought to you by Steve Buckhantz, Phil Chenier and the Comcast television feed …
Bonus: Notice after Martin gets the rebound, no one really knows what to do … except for Mike Miller, who comes to get the ball with moving it past half-court before the eight second count expires in mind. However, Miller makes the mistake of passing it to JaVale McGee. After doing so, Miller immediately runs toward JaVale, making arm gestures as a request for him to halt his pursuit of the basket. Too late. Remember? JaVale must shoot just about every time he touches the ball, even with a 10 point lead and less than 10 seconds left in the game. He got fouled and sent to the free-throw line instead. Good one ‘Vale.
And now, here’s Andray and Cartier talking about the missed triple double in the locker room after the game …
It’s hard to place a value on a triple-double, but it’s good that coming close to getting one is at least worth a dinner or a shirt or some shoes. Now, how much a D-Leaguer on a 10-day contract can afford to splurge on an “underpaid” NBA millionaire is another story. I’d say Cartier at least owes Blatche a gift certificate to an establishment as classy as the personal achievement seeking way in which the youthful Washington Wizards ended the game.