Every point is worth the same

UPDATE: Whaddaya know. 

 

Unlike Friday night's 20-point loss in Miami, the Wizards overcame a slow start and a third-quarter blitz by the Heat to make a game of it, but ultimately, poor shooting and a flurry of late-game mistakes did them in.

And there's no mention of what happened in the third quarter.

I'm not blaming Ivan for this at all.  Journalists are supposed to pick out the plays that decide the margin of the game.  The margin was tight, so the best plays to use were the ones where the game was actually tight.  I'm just not surprised.

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I am about 90 percent certain that the angle that's going to be taken on this loss will read something like this.

The Wizards didn't show any composure down the stretch.  Andray Blatche and Nick Young cost them the game with their untimely turnovers.  If we just didn't turn the ball over, we would have won.  It's their fault.

And that angle is completely unfair.  You know why?  We lost this game not in the fourth quarter, but right after halftime.  That was when the Heat stretched a two-point lead to 14 in the first 3:20 of the third quarter.  You know who was on the floor during that stretch?  Etan Thomas and DeShawn Stevenson.  You know who wasn't?  Andray Blatche and Nick Young. 

It was Etan Thomas who committed two turnovers and missed two point-blank shots.  It was all the veterans who never rotated defensively in transition, leaving their guys wide open.  And it was during that stretch that Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison had to do virtually everything offensively.  They didn't perform either, but can you blame them when you have two guys who are doing absolutely nothing out there?

Yes, Nick and Dray's turnovers hurt us.  But we played our best defense down the stretch, and they were a big part of that.  Even as they were committing silly turnovers, they were cutting down our lead.  And if they and the other three guys on the court didn't have to come back from so far down, this game would have been ours.  Alas, it was simply too much to overcome.  A play like Shawn Marion's garbage basket, for example, was bound to happen and we had no margin for error because we were so far behind.

If our starters don't play that terribly to start the third quarter, we win that game.  Plain and simple.  So don't blame Nick Young and Andray Blatche for this one, please.  They don't deserve it. 

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