[Gilbert Arenas takes a bow after his 60 point game vs. the LA Lakers on December 17, 2006.]
Twenty-two down with game 23 coming tonight in D.C. against jersey No. 24 and his LA Lakers. 60 games to go on the season for the Wizards? Seems like a lot … until it isn’t. What also seems like a lot is the fact that a Los Angeles purple and gold team will be gunning to avenge the moral victory Washington recently achieved on their court … while gaining an Andrew Bynum back against a Wizards team likely to be without Andray Blatche, perhaps without John Wall, and with Gilbert Arenas “generally sore” … whatever that means.
So do you want to see the Wizards take on the Lakers tonight for free anyway? Sure you do. Because guys like Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin, a duo who helped fuel Washington’s valiant attempts in LA, are expected to see their fair share of time on the court with the swollen knee of 7-Course-Meal-Dray expected to keep him inactive. The Nick Young-Kobe Bryant Show Part II could be fun to watch as well.
Hence, TAI is giving away more free tickets courtesy of StubHub … this time, three tickets to an upper level suite (I know, three tickets is an odd number, but three is also company.)
How can you score these free Wizards-Lakers tickets? At around 3 PM EST this afternoon, Tuesday, December 14, I will be posting a Wizards-related trivia question on the TAI Twitter account: @Truth_About_It. The first person to email, NOT Tweet, the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org will have three (3) suite tickets waiting for them at the Verizon Center Will Call for tonight’s game. Seems easy enough.
UPDATE: We have a winner. Brent Sanet was the first to correctly email ‘Ledell Eackles’ as the answer to the Twitter Trivia Question below:
“Before playing last game @ US Airways Arena in 97, the Wash. Wizards signed a player who prev. played in 345 total gms as a Bullet. Name him”
Stats On A Season.
Six wins in 22 games, zero in 12 efforts on the road, means that the Wizards have a zero-percent chance to make the playoffs according to the Playoff Probabilities Report from Basketball-Reference.com (or at least less than a 0.1-percent chance), even though they are technically only 3.5 games out of the eight spot in the East. On a note that you’re probably used to, according to the same report, the Wizards currently have a 14.9-percent chance to win the Draft Lottery, which is third highest in the League — and the Wizards have already been beaten by the two teams with better chances, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings.
What did we expect? For the Wizards to blast through the first fourth of the season on a pace to win 20.5 games on the entire year? Perhaps we should have. What we probably didn’t expect is for so many various Wizards players, injuries notwithstanding, to display disappointing efforts as individuals which has led to sub-par results as a team. Perhaps we should have.
One can all too easily point out the defensive inefficiencies of individuals such as Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee until they’re out of pixels. Let’s just say as a collective unit, the Wizards cannot protect the rim. Let’s check the stats (via HoopData):
Washington is tied with the New York Knicks for second most in the NBA in letting 16.8 made field-goals per game at the rim. Toronto allows a league-high 17.5.
Washington opponents make their shots at the rim at a rate of 68.5-percent, third highest in the NBA behind Sacramento (72.1) and Phoenix (68.6).
Washington opponents gather 32.7-percent of all offensive rebounds available to them — the highest percent in all the league. Defensive boards for the Wizards, big problem.
Player Team APER Rankings.
APER (alternate PER) was developed by John Hollinger of ESPN and modified by Joe Treutlein of HoopData.
- JaVale McGee 19.3
- John Wall 18.05
- Nick Young 16.31
- Gilbert Arenas 14.09
- Andray Blatche 13.69
- Kirk Hinrich 13.63
- Cartier Martin 13.28
- Trevor Booker 11.77
- Alonzo Gee 11.28
- Al Thornton 10.21
- Hilton Armstrong 9.97
- Yi Jianlian 8.75
- Kevin Seraphin 6.19
- Lester Hudson -8.6
These rankings put two things into perspective: 1) JaVale McGee’s game is more beautiful than it is ugly right now, but frustrating nonetheless because it’s like a good looking bacon cheeseburger that’s really made of turkey, and 2) Yi Jianlian needs to recover from injury and then make strides to prove his worth going into a contract summer, else he’ll be labeled a soft bust in the realm of, but not quite reaching the proportions of Kwame Brown.