Back on November 27th when the Washington Wizards last faced the Orlando Magic, four of their five starters struggled mightily. JaVale McGee was in foul trouble all night trying to guard Dwight Howard; Alonzo Gee, known more for his hustle than his scoring prowess (and now a former Wizard), had eight points and seven rebounds, but really had no effect on outcome. Andray Blatche grabbed 13 rebounds, but scored just 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Kirk Hinrich, starting for the injured John Wall, shot 3-for-12 and finished with nine points.
The fifth starter that night was Mr. Gilbert Arenas, and he lit his future team up for 31 points, and despite the Wizards’ 100-99 loss, Arenas’ play kept them competitive. He later admitted to the Orlando media that “he had to prove a point” to his friend, and Magic GM, Otis Smith.
Last night, Arenas no longer had to prove a point or show the Magic what he could do, because he was donning the Orlando Magic blue. Rather, Washington fans witnessing his return got more of a meat-and-potatoes version of Arenas; he scored 10 points off the bench to go with six assists, six rebounds and some decent defense. Unfortunately for the Wizards, their starters still struggled, and instead of losing by one point, they lost by 18.
Wall was healthy this time, and put up decent numbers of 14 points, five assists and five rebounds. But he did not have a good feel for the ball, did not find his teammates consistently and was visibly frustrated by the lack of calls. He picked up two technical fouls in a span of two minutes late the fourth quarter and he was eventually ejected, and the writers from Truth About It and Bullets Forever immediately began to tally up the resulting fines Wall owed both the NBA and the Wizards.
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