FanPost

Impressions from section 417 vs. Zalgiris

[editor's note, by Pradamaster] Seeing as how I wasn't there, this will act as the postgame thread. Thanks to hotplate for sending in his thoughts. -PM

General impressions of the game from my vantage point in the upper deck:

Evidently there are Black people in Lithuania, although they all seem to have shortened their names. The starting guards were named Dujuan Collins and Marcus Brown. And a key substitute was named Tanaka Beard. Collins in particular, had a good game.

Andre Blatche is the MAN. I am amazed at how mature his overall game seems to be. He seems like he can be one of the rare players whose very  appearance on the floor leads the entire team to play better. He shot well, made several nice passes, made a couple of nice defensive plays, and started a couple of nice fast breaks after taking down the defensive rebound. But more than that, he seems to have great court awareness and to be a genuine presence on the floor. I heard radio man Glenn Consor compare him to Danny Manning, but I'd like to go back further for a comparison. He reminded me a bit of my namesake, John Williams (later nicknamed "Hot Plate"). Taller and thankfully much skinnier. Williams did everything well except perhaps shoot. He could influence the game without scoring. When Williams was on the court, the team's offensive spacing and ball movement was much better than when he was off. I think that Blatche could have similar impact and it may be as soon as this year.

Dominic McGuire had at least 4 assists. These were all excellent passes that led directly to an easy layup or dunk. He really sees the court well. In 2 years, he and Blatche could be an amazing tandem with their all around skillz.

Pecherov is too enamored with his jump shot. He shoots every single time that he has an open look from the 3 point line. He missed them all tonight. He needs to realize that one reason he has that open shot is that the opponent doesn't particularly mind him taking it.
Butler played a solid game including a dunk in which he sent a Lithuanian defender into the goal post.
Haywood also was solid and showed a lot of hustle.

I hate myself for it, but I find myself doing a "Donnell Taylor watch" as soon as he comes on the floor. I check the score in order to track his plus/minus which I know is going to be a minus. I start counting the number of missed shots and turnovers. I see how quickly he can pick up fouls. He had a rough start during the first half although he settled down when AD came into the game. His second half showing was uneventful, but I think the potential is there for him to become wildly unpopular with the fans.

The Wizards promotion staff led by the annoying man at the mike Chris Stiles and mascot G-Wiz/GMan seemed genuinely annoyed by the presence of a large contingent of very enthusiastic Lithuanian fans. The fans were seated in 2 lower level sections behind their team's bench and were all clad in green. They cheered and chanted throughout and didn't appear concerned that their team was losing. From my distant vantage point they seemed very good natured and looked like they would be fun to hang out with. But during 1 time out, G-Wiz went over and got one of the green Lithuanian t-shirts. He then tossed it on the ground, stomped on it, picked it up and pretended to use it as toilet paper, and then tossed it back down on the ground and stomped on it about a dozen more times. He continued this for about 30 seconds after the game resumed. I thought that he might be doing this in fun, but once he was finished, he simply walked off the other side of the court rather than return to the Lithuanian section and hanging out. It seemed mean spirited, humorless, and almost offensive. Had he engaged in a t-shirt exchange and sat amongst the fans clowning around, he would could have gained new fans for the 'zards. Similarly, Stiles and the promotions crew carefully avoided those 2 sections during the t-shirt tosses and the give aways. During one t-shirt toss, Stiles said into the mike "Don't make me go there" referring the the Lithuanian sections. Honestly why not act like HOSTS and practice sportsmanship? These fans were cheering for their national team. They don't play in our league and don't directly compete with the Wizards. Its not like they were rooting for the Cavaliers. They knew their team was going to lose but stayed cheerful throughout.  Instead of ignoring them, the promotions group should have lavished special attention on them. Give them extra t-shirts. It seems like it would be good business and kind of cool to have people in Vilnius wearing Wizards t-shirts. Why not have G-Wiz sit among the fans and party with them for a time out? Why not have a brief interview with one of the fans? Just petty and short sited. I was very surprised as the Wizards public relations seemed to have really improved over the years.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.

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