Barkley works the Shake Weight, a Wizards ticket giveaway, commentary and links …
First, TAI is giving away two tickets to Wednesday’s game versus the Pacers (courtesy of StubHub). The seats are good (Section 101, Row L … behind the Wizards’ bench) and John Wall is good (as in he’s back and should be playing). You can win these two free tickets by being the first to email the correct answer to the trivia question I will post from the @Truth_About_It Twitter account at 11 am EST on Wednesday, December 29. The answer must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also note: The Wizards are pulling something out of the Miami Heat’s playbook to get fans to arrive to games early (not sure if the idea actually originated with the Heat, but they did do something similar earlier this year). Starting when the doors open at 6 pm for Wednesday’s game versus the Pacers until 6:30, the Verizon Center will be offering food and drink discounts outside of section 107. [via @WashWizards]
I’m not sure if it was his intended effect, but the technical Rocket’s coach Rick Adelman drew was the real “Game Changer” of Monday night’s loss in Houston … well, that and Chase Budinger. Up 10 points with about 10 minutes left in the game, a minute later the Rockets were able to cut the Wizards’ lead to seven via a JaVale McGee goal-tending call against Aaron Brooks. John Wall responded by jetting up the court, pulling a crazy, falling spin move in the paint, and somehow finding Josh Howard in the right corner for a jumper, putting the Wizards up 84-75 at the 8:48 mark of the fourth. It was time for Adelman to take his stand. The coach stomped and yelled in the direction of the referee, instigating a technical foul. Maybe he thought it was a charge against Wall (television replay seemed to indicate otherwise), maybe Adelman wanted to get his team fired up. Whatever the case was, it worked.
Wall missed the technical, Howard lost Budinger on a curl in the paint and fouled him on a layup attempt, the Wizards were stagnant on their next offensive possession and Howard got blocked by Budinger in the paint trying to return the favor (which led to Rockets fastbreak points the other way), Andray Blatche hit a soft, fading jumper (keeping the Wiz up 86-97), Shane Battier drove the lane and hit a tough shot against Rashard Lewis, Lewis returned the favor by air-balling a fading shot versus Battier, Kirk Hinrich fouled Aaron Brooks on a 3-point attempt, more stagnant Wizards offense led to a “post feed” to Blatche and an 18-foot missed jumper, and finally, Blatche lazily helped Hinrich on a pick and fade between Brooks and Battier and Lewis was slow to rotate to Battier, who hit a trey ball to put Houston up 87-86 with 6:39 left in the game.
There were still plenty of chances for the Wizards to win, but they were already so deflated by the game’s quick turnaround that it was essentially over at that point. Mike Prada at Bullets Forever points out that the Wizards didn’t really execute down the final stretch, and I’ll add that in the run after Adelman’s tech, the Rockets manned up and decided to push their offense into the paint, while the Wizards settled for jumpers. Seems pretty typical for this team.
Oh, and Rockets blog The Dream Shake certainly recognized Budinger’s efforts in propelling his team to victory.
It’s not all good in Wizards World, but two things I’ll note:
- I commended Ernie Grunfeld and Tommy Sheppard for flying down to San Antonio on the day after Christmas to personally tell Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee of their suspensions. I’m not sure how much that specific act means in the grand scheme of things, but it couldn’t have been handled better.
- I criticized Flip Saunders earlier this year for his team’s lack of focus … and the fact that he likes to say, “You can’t coach effort.” Well, Flip has his team playing better lately and credit is due to him for that. They still aren’t winning, or rather, are still finding ways to lose … but they are competing more than they used to. Again, not sure what this means in the big picture, but worth a bullet point in a blog post nonetheless.
On Christmas Eve, I was the host over at ESPN.com’s TrueHoop and wrote two posts. One was on Gilbert Arenas’ first good game in an Orlando Magic uniform in a blowout of the San Antonio Spurs and the surrounding circumstances. The other post was about dunks and which players/teams are doing it the most this season. Go read them if you will.
Lang Whitaker has a good profile on John Wall.
Someone recently challenged JaVale McGee to get a more mature Twitter name — not sure how much that matters, but McGee is no longer @bigdaddywookie anyways. He’s now @JaValeMcGee34
Shaun Powell lists Flip Saunders as one of eight NBA coaches potentially on the hot seat.
Wanna see what Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee were wearing the night they got into a fight?
You’ve probably read the touching story by Patrick Hruby about the boy who was helped and treated like a little brother by Gilbert Arenas after his family died in a devastating house fire. If not, go read it. As much as we, I, criticize or praise Arenas, he is a human too … a human who has always been more than willing to help out others.
According to the reporting of the Washington Post, Arenas has evidently “cut off communication and funds” with Laura Govan, the mother of his three children, who is also supposed pregnant with his fourth child. The “report,” with sourcing from Govan’s “publicist” also says that Govan has not heard from Arenas for the entire month of December and that he left her with no money to purchase food or Christmas gifts. It all seems pretty strange (but not really considering the subjects), especially since the Govan sisters (Laura and Gloria, fiancee to Matt Barnes of the Lakers) were on hand at the Staples Center when the Wizards played the Lakers in Los Angeles on December 14 (GIF evidence at the bottom of this post). Of course, their attendance at the game doesn’t mean anything.
Kelly Dwyer with excellent stuff on LeBron’s contraction talk.
[Ball Don't Lie]
Antawn Jamison rolls around on the floor for what seems like an eternity after bumping knees with Jameer Nelson … turned out to be just a knee contusion.
[NBA Facts & Rumors]
Your favorite troll, Colin Cowherd, has been nominated by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch for the worst rant of the year … Cowherd also wins honorable mention in the same category.
[Sports Illustrated; H/T SB Nation DC]
Appreciating what might have been with Shaun Livingston through a nice no-look alley-oop pass he made in the present.
[Ball Don't Lie]
The Dallas Mavericks are fake-marketing Caron Butler’s Tuff Juice … but does Eddie Jordan get credit for coming up with Caron’s nickname?
[The Basketball Jones]
[The Govan Sisters - Laura Govan on the left, Gloria Govan on the right]