Wizards Game 1 Blog: vs. New Jersey Nets

Back for another season of game blogs......this year, home games will be on Bullets Forever, away games on TruthAboutIt.net. Let's do this.

Last Year's History Against The Nets:

Game 4: Nets 87 - Wizards 85
Bostjan Nachbar killed the Wiz with 11 early 4th quarter points (three 3s). Gilbert Arenas took a terrible shot to end the game (let the Nets trap him in the corner and attempted a wild, one-legged two pointer). Jason Kidd talked to Gilbert about his knee after the buzzer sounded.

Game 20: Wizards 104 - Nets 89
Butler and Jamison combined for 50. Game blog highlight: Great float pass from AD to a cutting AJ for the floater. Yup, float for the floater..sounds like toilet humor.

Game 28: Nets 109 - Wizards 106

Richard Jefferson goes crazy to score 21 points in the 3rd...and didn't even score in the 4th (26 for the game). Down 109-106, the Wizards elect not to foul New Jersey with 30 seconds left....Nachbar misses a three and the Nets get an offensive board. Game over.

Free Darko Prediction: Oct 29 New Jersey @ Washington. Experience Unlimited sings the national anthem.

Allllllll-right.....the NBA season is here, I just took a 5-hour energy (considering that with the DVR, it takes me about five hours to watch a game....I know crazy/sad -- okay, maybe not that long), Kanye West's "Flashing Lights" is playing as the reserves are introduced, and being pumped about this NBA season just hit me. I love this game, I love this team.....and I'm a cautious believer. Let's start the show.

Q1

The first play is run for Jamison....it seems like this is always the case...but instead of a jumper, he gets in the lane and just misses this scoop/hook thingee.

11:11: Veteran Dirt: Vince Carter and Jamison hit the floor fighting for a loose ball and Etan Thomas dives right into the scrum. Gotta like that...Yi Jianlian and a couple of Nets just stand and watch it unfold. Etan earns and wins the jump ball.

10:34: First points of the season! Step up DeShawn Stevenson....AD drives right to the FT line and DeShawn is open from three on the wing....wish all of his shots could come that easy/unforced. 3-2 Wizards.

9:48: Caron Butler will not settle...pushing the ball up the side after a Nets miss, Caron sees Yi not protecting the rim and only Bobby Simmons between him and the basket. He hits Simmons with an in-and-out with the right, goes behind the back to the left, drives and draws the foul.....2 FTs....his Foul Draw Percentage is up 41%.

9:00: Uhhh guys? Protect the paint? Vince Carter splits an Etan/DeShawn double team off a pick at the 3-point line and AJ just watches Carter go around him and to the basket for a dunk.....Jamison's feet were in quick-sand. 7-6 Wizards.

8:28: Jarvis Hayes checks in to a light smattering of boos.

7:41: Etan Thomas just hit the best, most fluid shot I've ever seen him take....he had Boone in the post on the left block, Daniels cuts through on the baseline to the other side....ISO Etan.....jab step left, one dribble to the middle, reverse pivot baseline, fading jumper. Add that to the fact that Etan already has three boards and made two FTs earlier. 11-6 Wizards.

For some reason I keep thinking Devin Harris is Kerry Kittles.

6:06: Nets press a little....Butler receives the pass on the far left wing and drives it on an out-of-position Yi for the layup. Who says that Tuff Juice settles? 13-9 Wizards.

5:51: Damn Etan....don't get lazy. Boone sets a pick to Harris' left....Etan is kinda there, but not really....AD positions himself to get over the pick, but Harris, seeing the lane wide open to the right, turns down the screen and drives  for a layup. Confusion by all.....Etan was yelling, AJ wasn't around to help either, Daniels shouldn't have given that much of a lane. 13-11 Wizards.

Phil Chenier comes back and diagrams an earlier instance where the Wizards did not defend a perimeter pick and roll well.

4:08:
Wiz surprise the Nets with a press off a made FT and draw an 8 seconds call.

Dixon and Blatche check in for Daniels and Etan.

Dixon, caught on Lopez, shows great communication (Chenier loves this so much, he does a special diagram for it) and grabs Butler, who was following his cutting man, and forces the switch to Lopez while Dixon goes chasing Caron's man....Nick Young would not have done that....I'm just sayin'

3:06: And Juan nails his first jumper....wide-open open off a Jamison pick. 21-16 Wizards.

Nick Young checks in for Stevenson.

1:30: Nice work.....Dixon gets the ball from Young up top and waives to kid to cut like he's supposed to.....Nick does, goes off an Andray pick, ball moves right to left to Butler on the wing, and there you have it....Young receives the pass from Caron in good position on the baseline, and nails his first shot of the season, a fadeaway. 23-20 Wizards.

Dominic McGuire and Darius Songaila check in for Jamison and Butler to complete the substitution of the starters to the bench.

0:33: ANDRAY BLATCHE FOUL ALERT: Dooling gets an defensive board....clearly has complete control of the ball and starts to bring it up the court...and for SOME DAMN REASON, Andray decides to try to steal it from a point guard in the backcourt. Blatche picks up silly foul #2...the first one came on a loose ball foul that shouldn't have happened either. Terrible. So, the guy is in for about 3.5 minutes and picks up two fouls......it's not Eddie Jordan's fault that the kid doesn't play more, it's Andray Blatche's fault.

Tie game at 23. The Wiz shot 32% in the first, but only turned the ball over once.

Q2

11:44: Jarvis Hayes sneaks in the corner and hits a three....Steve Buckhantz says we saw him do that in DC....uhhh, not really.

11:30: Blatche makes a nice drive.....stops....Lopez goes right by him and he gets a nice inside bucket. 26-25 Nets.

10:39: Blatche hits a nice composed long jumper on the wing. 28-27 Nets.

9:07: Blatche backs down Lopez on a couple dribbles, then hits a step back fade from mid-range. 29-28 Wiz.

I like that Andray is displaying diverse offensive moves.....but I must add....way to pick on Lopez the rookie kiddo.

8:30: McGuire airballs his first shot of the season.....long deuce from the corner.

8:00: Uhhh...in the background, they're playing Journey as McGuire goes to the FT line....weird.

Butler comes back in for McGuire, Daniels for Dixon....Jamison set to return for Songaila.
See? Eddie Jordan wasn't really going to neglect Young and Blatche.

6:17: Wiz get a defensive board....Nick Young goes streaking....Caron has court vision....long pass....and Monumental Air! 32-31 Wiz.

5:51: Songaila gets a deflection...Wiz get steal....Nick Young can't keep his clothes on....Caron still has court vision....long pass.....and Monumental Air! (except not a dunk.....a spinning layup for Young....didn't have the time/positioning for a dunk) 34-31 Wiz.

4:22: Jamison hits back to back jumpers. 38-35 Wiz.

Etan and Stevenson check back in for Young and Blatche....all starters back.

Yi Jianlian looks decent.....kid can stroke it. 6 points for Yi.

2:30: Jamison hits a trey, he's on fire....Chenier says the Wiz are now shooting over 57% in the 2nd and Steve says that the Nets have not gotten one offensive rebound in the game.

1:46: Yi hits a trey ball. 44-42 Wiz.

0:57: AJ does a good job defending him, but you can't always stop a Vince Carter Dr. J-like up and under from behind the basket. Tied at 44.

The half ends with the Wizards up 46-44. They played....okay. Defense was decent, considering no Haywood....didn't do the best job in keeping Harris out of the paint. Offense was sub-par, picked up a little in the second. We should be winning by more than two, hopefully they'll pick it up in the 2nd half. Gold Star goes to: Etan Thomas. He's been aggressive...hitting o-boards hard, great at getting inside position....6 points, 6 rebounds for Etan.

Q3

10:41: Still Not Settling: The Caron Butler Autobiography.....he gets around Yi and two other Nets for a sweet slicing reverse layup. 49-46 Wiz.

10:00: Etan Thomas is beastin' -- another offensive rebound (5) and trip to the line, makes 1 FT...8 points, 7 boards for Etan.

9:40: Yi answers with another jumper....12 points on 5-6 shooting....gotta start paying attention to him some time. This time, Carter drew Jamison's attention with a back-down and Yi was wide open at the 3-point line.

Vince Carter is starting to cause trouble for the Wiz on offense....and all of a sudden, the Nets are up 55-50.

The Nets are giving more double attention to Butler on D and the shots are not falling for the Wiz.

7:03: Carter blows by Jamison and hits a crazy, turning, spinning, hanging, reverse layup (with contract from Etan to boot)....And 1. 58-52 Nets.

The Nets have been posting up Carter on the left wing almost every time down the court.

5:30: Wizards run good offense that gets a nice open jumper for......Antonio Daniels? Well, ok then.....he makes it. Tied at 58.

4:45: Ball movement gets Stevenson a three from the corner. 9-0 Wiz run, 61-58......gotta keep this offense up.

JaVale McGee checks in for Etan....uh oh, The Choppa is looking sweet with that cut part in his head.....looking like a member of an 80s all male R&B group....all he needs is a leather jacket over a turtle-neck and some jeans with creases ironed in them.

3:07: Jarvis Hayes nails a three....and gets booed. Yea, he was disappointing when in DC, but injured a lot.....not exactly something he can control. I don't think the boos are really necessary.

Dee Brown checks in.....joins Butler, AJ, McGee & Nick Young.


2:30: Jamison drives....gets it to McGee under the rim....he misses his first NBA shot at point blank range....hustles to get his own rebound with length over everyone....gets it to Nick Young in the corner.....he drives on Carter and hits an off-balanced runner in the lane. 64-63 Wizards....kids these days.

1:45: Brook Lopez uses his strength over McGee to get position and a bucket.

1:20: Keyon Dooling uses a screen to get separation from Brown....Jamison is not close enough to help....and Dooling hits the mid-range jumper. 67-65 Nets.

The 3rd ends with the Nets up 69-67.

Q4

Crunch time. Dee, Nick, Caron, JaVale and Andray to start the 4th.

11:41: Young gets penetration and hits a nice jumper on the first possession.....I'm getting more and more confident when the ball is in that guy's hands....on the other end Young plays great D to get a steal and draw a foul.

11:14: Dee Brown great pass with dribble penetration to a cutting Blatche for a dunk. 71-69 Wizards.

DeShawn comes in for Young....not sure I like that too much.


10:12: This Yi dude is sick....man that shot is so smooth. Nails a jumper. 74-71 Nets.

9:12: DeShawn hits his 4th trey of the game....hasn't forced too much so far. Good to know that stroke from last season is still around. Tied at 74.

9:07: Blatche picks up his 3rd foul....this one wasn't too bad, and somewhat questionable, as he was moving laterally to get through a screen.

Butler taks a rest.....Andray, Antawn, Dee, JaVale and DeShawn on the court.


8:55: That Andray Blatche blocking out problem again....Dooling misses a jumper.....Blatche moves almost right under the rim (not sure how you're going to rebound a jumper from there)....has his hands at his side....doesn't put a body on his man, Yi Jianlian.....and Yi is able to get a back-tap and a new shot clock for the Nets. Damn.....cannot have that.

B.S. Call: Both McGee and Lopez have a lane violation on a missed Jamison FT.....jump ball is the call. Ref calls a control violation on McGee on the tap, but the replay clearly shows this is not the case....a possession is taken away from the Wizards.

7:47: Blatche laziness. Stevenson swings the ball back to him at the top of the arc....Yi anticipates....but Andray doesn't secure the ball, rather casually waiting for it to get to him. Jianlian gets the steal and the break-away dunk. 78-75 Nets. Chenier agrees.....you gotta meet that ball.

Andray misses a three on the next possession.

7:11: Jarvis Hayes with back-to-back buckets. 80-75 Nets.

7:04: Caron misses his 2nd FT of the night....4-6 from the line. But he's leading the team in rebounding and assists at this point of the game.....huh?

The Wizards, to me, really aren't playing that bad.....but for some reason, I don't like the feel of this game....and being down 82-78 with just over 5 minutes left. Guess we're going to see what this team is really made of in this next five.

The lineup now: Young, Stevenson, Butler, Jamison, and Blatche. I'm down with Eddie Jordan's rotation tonight....he's had some creativity.

The Wizards have misses 8 free-throws tonight....Blatche just went 1-2 from the line (at least he got fouled trying to get an offensive board). 84-81 Nets.

3:40: Jarvis Hayes is draining every look he gets. 86-81 Nets. 14 points for Hayes and Nick Young can't answer on the other end.

Starters except Blatche for Etan working crunch time.

1:45: Devin Harris easily crosses up Daniels and hits a big jumper. 88-82 Nets. The Wizards just haven't been able to score.....don't know what it is, but they're shooting a terrible percentage, especially the Jamison-Butler duo.

Wiz can't get anything going.....Nets have the ball with about 1:15 left....fans are grumbling....and Vince Carter nails a long jumper. A minute left, Nets up 8, 90-82, and the crowd gets out of there as if someone just let out a huge stinker....and the Wizards dealt it.

There must be a lid on the rim....a short Blatche jumper goes in and out.

The Wizards have more turnovers (6) than field goals made (4) in the 4th quarter. These two teams aren't predicted to be on the same level in 08-09, but have looked on the same level tonight.....not good, at all.

This is not sitting well on my stomach.....not sure if it's good to pour pepto on top of a 5-hour energy, but I'm donig it anyway.

Yep, that's it...95-85 Wizards. Bad offense happens....but I'm still perplexed at this loss. Oh well, I'm sure it will be discussed and dissected over the next couple of days.

ESPN.com Box Score

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