Yep, us Wizards fans don’t have much to be happy about these days (wait, you are still a Wizards fan, right?). But even if you aren’t a Wizards fan, you can appreciate the below (except, of course, if you’re a Pacers fan).
I attended last Sunday’s match versus Indiana……the Caron Butler buzzer-beater game. I present, the pictures I took:
Oddly, given how hot Butler was, Indiana Coach Jim O’Brien elected to not double team Butler on the final play. Danny Granger, who tied the game at 117 with a clutch three-pointer on Indiana’s last possession, drew Butler and had a hand in his face but it didn’t matter.
Caron Butler said he doesn’t even know how he summoned the energy to torch the Pacers for 17 fourth-quarter points, including the Wizards’ last 15 and a game-winner.
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By flipping the hat to the back, representing Racine, and throwing up the solo digit at the Park at 14th of course.
Tuff Juice has a decidedly less faded look than his pal Andray Blatche had last Thursday.
When he’s not speed racing, Nick Young can drop some buckets, son.
Yes, the Wizards sucked the juice out of a bar rag against the Grizzlies on Monday (hey, I think they call that a New Jersey Turnpike…..ironically enough, the Wiz play the Nets on Wednesday), but they did pick up their 10th win of the season against the Clippers on Saturday.
With seven minutes left in the 4th, Baron Davis hit a trey ball as an “inadvertent” whistle blew. They counted the shot and the Washington lead was cut to eight, 90-82. A bucket on the next Wizards possession was very crucial.
Sure, the Clips would cut the score to eight a couple times late in the game, but in this instance, Nick Young answered the call of duty to give the Wizards a 10 point lead and game changing bucket.
Here’s the break down:
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“Every day I feel like I’m being punked and I’m waiting for Aston Kutcher, because I just can’t believe we went from that to this. I mean, I’m like ‘Brendan, is your hand really hurt, for real? Gil, are you really still not right?’”
-Caron Butler via Wizards Outlet, Washington Times
[Caron Butler photo source: flickr/Keith Allison]
There have been Kiss Cam zingers and incidents that have gotten carried away. But the Kiss Cam is usually like buying a hooker in Vegas……what happens in the Verizon Center stays in the Verizon Center.
Getting caught in an awkward moment, say…cheating with a coworker, is bad enough in an arena filled with 18,000 (well this year in DC, 10,000 or less) — no need to broadcast to a much wider audience on TV.
But the game changes when the Big Aristotle comes to town. Late in the first quarter, Shaq tied up Caron Butler for a jump ball and the cameras were there.
It could have been a tension filled moment between the two players who were once traded for each other. But the Big Diffuser stepped in to give Butler a smooch on his head, letting him know that all was copacetic.
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Bust A Bucket is a Portland Trail Blazers blog (seems like the Blaze have a ton of blogs – guess that’s what you get when you combine more passionate fans, a better history in the past 2+ decades, and no other major professional sports teams)….oh well. Check ‘em out, pretty cool looking site.
Matt of BaB and I exchanged a Q&A session in anticipation of tonight’s game between our two teams. Check out his answers to my questions below. Head over to Bust a Bucket for my return answers.
1) The Blazers currently sit right in the midst of the Western Conference playoff fray. Do you see how the current team plays out the year and perhaps make a move in the summer?……..Or try to find a taker for someone now? (I’m assuming that Frye, Outlaw and Rodriguez are the most expendable, correct?)
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The Wizards are hemorrhaging and the sharks are in the water. When a team is in the crapper, opposing trade ideas get delusional.
The Wiz are in a unique situation of futility. They are dealing with crucial injuries that would be a critical blow to any other team. (Do I appreciate the job that Eddie Jordan & Co. did last year even more? Yes I do.)
That being said, it’s evident that even if 100% healthy, the Wizards are pieces short of being a championship contender.
Does all this mean that Ernie Grunfeld, on whom the heat has been increasing lately, should push the panic button and just start making trades? Maybe and maybe not.
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Ugh…..I only got to see the last 10 minutes of the Wizards-Bobcats game last night…..the exact segment I could have lived without ever watching. I may get a 4th quarter game blog posted at some point, I may not…..but in any case, the lead part of Mike Jones’ game story in the Washington Times struck me as a bit odd:
Remember the old Looney Tunes cartoon in which Bugs Bunny crawls out of a hole on a baseball diamond, summons spectacular powers as only Bugs can, plays every position on the field and single-handedly defeats a team of gorilla-looking opponents?
It almost seemed like the Washington Wizards got a similar performance out of Caron Butler Tuesday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. Only in this episode, the Wizards came up short and sank to an all-time low with an 80-72 loss to the host Charlotte Bobcats.
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The Wizards-Bulls game starts soon, but I wanted to get some thoughts down on last night’s game against the Lakers.
First, you can check the Wizards-Lakers game blog on Bullets Forever.
This was another game where some “little things” killed the Wizards. I hesitate to get too wrapped up in these little things because every team, good and bad, commits such minuscule errors each game. However, it’s the quantity of these errors which are the differentiators between winning and losing.
I do like the fact that the Wizards tried hard and simply did not give up when down 20 in the 3rd quarter, and even down 19 with under nine minutes left in the 4th. This team should be setting a tone by continuing to try hard for the rest of this season, no matter the record. Losing is bad enough, but what you do not want to do is to create a culture of not caring about losses. So, people should stop all this talk about tanking or throwing in the towel, not the environment we want to create.
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There’s been talk, mostly from Ed Tapscott, about the Wizards needing to do more of the ‘little things’. The Washington Post reports that Tapscott recently wrote ‘Little Things’ on a dry-erase board and then had this quote after the game last night, “We’ve got to take a look at the little things that cause us to have poor possessions at the end of games or some of the plays we have to make defensively against a drive. Those things will be addressed.”
The need for little things works on a sliding scale. The better the team, and talent, the more room there is to fudge on those little things. With injuries and the what-not, the Wizards have no wiggle room. Of course, teams like the Spurs have talent and do the little things; that’s why they have multiple championships under their belt.
Last night, some of the ‘little things’ the Wizards did not do include:
- Andray Blatche using only his upper body on block out attempts (although, I believe this has blossomed into an epidemic).
- Caron Butler lacking consideration in blocking out Rudy Fernandez, who was allowed to get a running start and a huge offensive put-back to put Portland up three with 2:24 left.
- Caron Butler using too much shot clock and then putting a rookie, JaVale McGee, in a difficult position to hit a contested baseline jumper from a though angle with the shot clock running down and 1:30 left in the game.
- Nick Young turning the wrong way (270 degrees instead of 90) in trying to defend a cutting Rudy Fernandez which led to a bucket and a foul at the very end of the 3rd period.
- DeShawn Stevenson not stopping the ball, and Sergio Rodriguez, after made FTs, which set up the previously mentioned gaffe.
- Ed Tapscott going with Darius Songaila instead of Dominc McGuire on a crucial defensive possession with the Wizards down two, 13 seconds left, and mostly perimeter players in for Portland.
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