It didn’t seem like a winning night for the Washington Wizards as they prepared to face the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. The movement of the team during warm-ups, the faces of the players, you could tell it was their fourth game in five nights. They weren’t exactly physically weary or mentally downtrodden in appearance, but the air of the team reflected the atmosphere in the Verizon Center, dead … like that oddly quiet elevator ride. Even Baltimore’s Carmelo Anthony being in town barely drew a response from fans, most electing to give him the Prokhorov treatment.
Toss out the box score from the game. The final was 120-109 Denver, but I could convince you otherwise. Washington led 56-46 in points in the paint, 32-8 in fastbreak points, they shot 51.2-percent from the field and made 23 of 27 free-throws. The Wizards were only out-rebounded by three (39-36), all in the defensive boards category, had the same amount of assists as Denver (23), and two less turnovers (15-13). Washington blocked nine shots, which may have contributed to the Nuggets’ 13-2 lead in second chance points, because both teams pulled seven offensive rebounds. Andray Blatche’s first quarter shot chart even looked like this:
Too bad after going 6-8 from the field in the first period, Blatche went 2-6 over the rest of the game (9-9 in free-throws on evening, though, for 25 total points).
Marcin Gortat’s head is pretty stoic for the position that it’s in.
This was one of those weird times when some huge official arena flash went off while I was taking a picture … came out kind of cool though.
Before getting weirdly entertained by a white man from Iowa wearing Oakleys, in a January 20 chat on ESPN.com, John Hollinger wrote about Nick Young, when not even specifically asked about Young: Read more »
Scenes from sitting on the baseline at a Washington Wizards 85-83 win over the Boston Celtics. -KW
Every team needs a Cartier Martin. The Wizards already have their Cartier Martin, a basketball player who will always do anything needed/asked of him … even if it’s going after an errant ball in the vicinity of a Kevin Garnett hip check.
I believe this is Garnett’s version of a sh*t-eating grin. Convincing.
Each game brings countless stories, instances and things to digest. The Wizards’ 97-77 win over the New Jersey Nets on Friday night was no exception. Surely you’ll hear about the team learning from a battle between buffalo and lions shown to them by Flip Saunders, or about Rashard Lewis’ compete game (16 points on 5-11 shooting, 3-6 from three, 13 rebounds, six assists, three steals, a block and zero turnovers), or about Nick Young tying his career high five assists, or John Wall’s nine assists to zero turnovers, or JaVale McGee’s five blocks in the first half (six on the night), or the Wizards’ jovial pre-game routine and loose attitude in the midst of losing. Anything of the sort, in multitudes. But I’m here to talk about our friend Andray Blatche.
It’s a simple game … or at least it can be. And for all the transgressions we may point out about Blatche, and deservedly so, sometimes you got to point out the good things he does. And maybe we should get extra excited about Blatche doing the simple, little things. These are the small victories with him … something to believe in (even though, let’s be honest, at this point there’s no reason not to believe that the feeling could be fleeting). Nonetheless, through roller coaster haircuts and radio air-clearings with Mike Wise, let’s take a look at couple photos I took during the Wizards-Nets game that highlight something rather simple from Mr. Blatche.
Blatche certainly seems to be setting a good screen here … he doesn’t have a reputation of always doing so, at least according to Gilbert Arenas’ departing critique of the Wizards’ big men. But then again, who can believe what Arenas says?
Limbs get tangled all the time in the NBA. But for some reason, when it involves tangled arms, you can depend on a two things: arms from two opposing players will become inexplicably intertwined so fast that you’d think elastic were involved, and the result is going to be tension filled until there is separation.
Sometimes the tangles and locks are unintentional. Sometimes the maneuver is enacted by a foe with the simple intent of getting under someone’s skin by quite literally, getting under their skin … knowing that referees are more likely to see and respond to retaliation rather than the instigator’s act. And the instigator can be an offensive or defensive player.
I don’t know if this is the highest JaVale McGee has ever touched on a backboard, likely not. But by my rough calculations, McGee’s touching at least the 12-foot mark here, if not higher. Probably higher.
Now, that photo I took prior to the Wizards-Hornets game on Saturday might not be the most dynamic, basketball high-jumping photo I’ve ever taken in my brief career — that title still probably goes to the picture I took below at last July’s NBA Summer League in Las Vegas where Jason Rich, playing for the Golden State Warriors’ squad, appeared to be close to kissing the rim … during a game.
But this post was really just a reminder of something you already know … that JaVale McGee can get up.
Maybe it’s a good omen that the Wizards won their last home game in 2010 as we go from the year of the tiger to the year of the rabbit in 2011. Great, more missed bunnies at the rim … kidding.
So let’s begin to kick-off the new year on a more positive note by looking back at some of the pictures from Wednesday night’s 104-90 win versus the Indiana Pacers that I took from the baseline. But first…
Congrats to Jennifer Lin, who was the first to correctly answer the Twitter Trivia for free tickets to the game (courtesy of StubHub), which was:
In Wizards-Bullets franchise history, 6 players from U. of Maryland have been drafted by the team. Name 3 of them.
Jennifer’s answers were Steve Blake (’03), Juan Dixon (’02) and Lawrence Boston (’78). Len Elmore (’74), Howard White (’73) and Will Hetzel (’70) were also franchise draftees from UMD-College Park. Read more »
Remember that goofy Bobby Knight “Game Face” display during some press conference long ago? Whether you do or you don’t, let’s take it to YouTube (it’s No. 2 in the countdown of top Knight soundbites):
But what about pre-game faces? Well, thanks to TAI’s Adam McGinnis, we have some of those faces from last Tuesday’s Wizards-Lakers game below. But first …
Truth About It is giving away more free Wizards tickets, this time two lower-level tickets to Saturday’s Wizards game versus the Miami Heat, courtesy of StubHub.
How do you win the tickets?Like last time, at around 3 PM EST this afternoon, Friday, December 17, 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 email@example.com will have two (2) tickets — Section 117, Row F — waiting for them at the Verizon Center Will Call for Saturday night’s 7 PM game.
The trivia question last time was: “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”
Due to Thanksgiving holiday travel, my pictures from the November 23 Wizards-76ers game are a bit tardy. But considering the Wizards have not won a game since, enduring two embarrassing blowouts in the process, reminiscing a thrilling victory could be a good remedy for Wizards fans. Enjoy.
John Wall & Gilbert Arenas stand out during the national anthem.
76ers top pick Evan Turner trying to get one of his threes to drop during pre-game shoot around.