Sure, I pretty much said the Wizards would lose to the Magic on Thursday in my last post. But there’s always an ‘if’ … and Gilbert Arenas is just that. Coming into this season, I’ve been confident that Arenas would be healthy enough to be a very effective scorer. Some are concerned about his knee, but if the mystique of Tim Grover proves true, time off due to suspension only made the surgical repairs stronger, with more rest.
We’re talking about a guy who scored 45 points in a game last season — and 25 or more points in 10 out of 32 games, seven of those games coming in December when Arenas started to heat up. The Wizards went 4-6 in the win/loss column when Gil scored 25 or more … which I guess isn’t bad, considering.
No, instead of his offense, what I’ve wanted to see from Gilbert is if his defensive legs can prove something other than the norm, for him, especially after Flip Saunders has backed Arenas’ defensive capability so much. People are already afraid that the twists and turns will continue with Gilbertology. Hopefully, lingering groin and ankle injuries won’t contribute more of that feeling you get when the plane or roller coaster takes a sudden drop.
But if Gilbert is merely a bench ornament in Orlando, the name of the Wizards’ game will still be to out-trick the Magic with strong and dominant guard play — pressure bursts pipes and speed makes it worse. Hello John Wall.