You realize that this shot was the difference in the game? Talk about luck.
Oh right, sorry. As much as Caron's energy and surprisingly solid performance was key, this really was DeShawn Stevenson's coming out party. The Sixers basically focused lots of defensive attention on Gilbert Arenas, and Stevenson made them pay, shooting 11 of 18 for 26 points. Not only that, but with the exception of the fourth quarter, Stevenson really held Kyle Korver in check. With Arenas in foul trouble, Antawn Jamison struggling, and the two big men playing awfully, Stevenson really won the Wizards this game.
It begs the question, once again. Stevenson has already announced that he plans to opt out of his veteran's minimum contract and become an unrestricted free agent. The Wizards aren't exactly loaded with cap space, and Abe Pollin is probably the last owner in sports willing to go over the luxury tax threshold. How much is Ernie Grunfeld willing to pay to keep DeShawn around? Don't forget that there needs to be enough money left over to sign Andray Blatche, a restricted free agent, and enough money for a first-round pick.
The thing with DeShawn is that he tends to float from game-to-game. I tend to hate the term "inconsistency," because it's usually used as an argument-ender rather than an argument-starter, but DeShawn really is inconsistent. In his last 6 games, he's scored 17, 2, 8, 5, 21, and 26 points. He sometimes plays great defense, but there are also games like in Portland where Brandon Roy absolutely went off. For a guy who's seemingly the closest thing this team has to a "glue guy," that's a far bigger problem than usual.
Still, there are games like tonight where you can't imagine the Wizards winning without him. And considering how awfully everyone else played, it's crazy how a guy making less than a million a year saved the team.
Needless to say, this offseason is going to be very interesting.