Wizards 107, Warriors 106

Anytime Gilbert Arenas himself says a game was bizarre, it probably was.  

Seriously, I can't believe I've ever seen a stranger ending.   A game ending not only with a personal foul, but also a technical?  I can't think of that ever happening.  

Personally, I think the technical on Don Nelson was pretty ridiculous.  No matter what he did, it's unbelievably unfair to take total control of the game and call the T.  You have to expect Nelson to be heated at that moment, and some leeway should be expected.  Golden State fans have a right to be upset about that, and judging from reaction here, they are.  

But as for the foul, I can't really argue with the referee's decision.  There was definitely contact, and while often times referees will swallow their whistles at the end of the game, the call on Caron Butler against Al Harrington on the previous posession showed that they were calling the game tightly even at the end.  At least they were consistent in that regard.

Still, what should have happened was that Arenas hit both of his free throws, and the game would go to overtime.  Instead, the Wizards escaped yet again with a ridiculous close home win against a crappy team.

The good news is that the Big 3 collectively had pretty good games.  Arenas torched his old team for 32 points, and did a great job of getting to the free throw line.  Butler had 20 points, and made arguably the most important play of the game when he stripped Al Harrington and slammed it home to tie the game in the final minute.  Antawn Jamison had a double-double, and provided his customary steadying influence.  The rest of the team was decent, and the Wizards' best stretch came with Calvin Booth and Roger Mason on the floor early in the fourth quarter.

But what's unbelievably inexcusable is that the Wizards were outrebounded 52-44 by one of the worst rebounding teams in the league.  You would think the loss of Brendan Haywood hurt here, but he's not a particularly good defensive rebounder.  The 17 offensive rebounds by the Warriors led to several second-chance points, and if the Wizards corraled even half of those boards, it likely would have been a comfortable victory.  It's things like these that are correctable problems, which is why the fact that the Wizards didn't correct it against a bad team particularly disconcerting.  

Defensively, I didn't think the Wizards played awfully.  Some of the shots the Warriors hit were really hard shots, especially Monta Ellis' shot on the baseline.  The second-chance points just killed the Wizards though, because the Warriors had more chances to convert even after the Wizards played great defense.  It's only fitting that the Wizards nearly lost this game off a rebound by Harrington.

More disconcerting is that the Wizards continue a really disturbing trend of letting bad teams hang around at home.  It's the sign of an overrated team that you can't blow out bad teams, especially on your home court.  Great teams win blowouts, not close games.  Right now, even though the Wizards have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, there's no way the Wizards are the third-best team in the Eastern Conference.  Truthfully, I'm not sure whether they're even the fifth or sixth best team.  That's how worried I am.

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