Wizards defeat Thunder 104-95 in Lottery Bowl I

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Highest Plus/Minus: Andray Blatche (+16)
Lowest Plus/Minus: JaVale McGee (-13)
Best Five Man Unit: Juan Dixon, DeShawn Stevenson, Dominic McGuire, Andray Blatche, Etan Thomas (+6 to end the 2nd Quarter)
Worst Five Man Unit: DeShawn Stevenson, Nick Young, Dominic McGuire, Antawn Jamison, Darius Songaila (-5 in the 4th Quarter)

 

Well, if you were one of the 16,181 in attendance for last night's game you were a part of NBA history.  No, not because Andray Blatche pulled in 15 rebounds (although that ties his career high).  The reason that you should hold onto those ticket stubs is because last night you were a witness to the 2nd worst matchup in the history of the National Basketball Association (ESPN says 2nd in the following video, Elias says it's the worst, choose whichever one suits you better). In a true clash of the titans, the Wizards came out on top, ensuring that they won't be spending any time in the NBA cellar, for the next few weeks at least.

Years from now, games like this are what you'll be telling your kids about when you recall the glory years of Wizards basketball.  And if you weren't one of the lucky ones that got to see last night's epic game, you have these highlights to give you an idea of what you missed:

(HT: Bend it Like Bennett)

  • There was a lot of frustration last night over the lack of minutes for some of our young guys like JaVale McGee (3 minutes) and Javaris Crittenton (DNP-CD), who aren't being given time to develop, despite the fact that the team doesn't factor into any playoff discussions.  But rest assured, Ed Tapscott understands your concerns and has this to say:

     

    "I would say to them that there is some logic to that.  However, that logic doesn't consider the other side of the coin, which is what do you do with your veterans? The veterans generally establish the culture of your team and if they're not participating, how do they take that leadership role? Certainly, we are going to give those young players an opportunity to secure some minutes, to get some experience but you have to take a balanced approach.

    That also smacks of throwing in the towel on the season. I expect for us to get to winning some games and I need both my veterans and my young players to do that. I'm not conceding anything with regards to this season. Our job is to get to winning."

    Undoubtedly, Tapscott finds himself in a tough situation.  He has to walk the fine line between giving the vets enough time to keep their competitive juices flowing which they need to keep respectability right now and he has to finda a way to give the youngsters time to develop which is critical to the team's long-term success.  Losing makes things way too complicated.

    • Even though I'm pretty sure it was more a product of the quality of the competition than anything else, it was nice to see Etan Thomas come in and have some productive minutes tonight.  Let's hope it leads to more of the same in the future.
    • Speaking of nice things to see, I believe we're starting to see Dominic McGuire become the glue guy that we all thought he was capable of becoming (a solid investment, I'd say).  His 12 points tonight were a pleasant surprise, but we know that's his biggest contributions will have nothing to do with scoring.  Since he's entered the starting lineup, he's averaged 9.7 rebounds per game, 3.7 assists, 1 block, and only 1 turnover per game.  Granted, three games is an extremely small sample size, but
    • It seems only fitting that in one of the worst match-ups in NBA history that the best unit on the floor consisted of Juan Dixon, DeShawn Stevenson, Dominic McGuire, Andray Blatche, and Etan Thomas.  That's a squad that averages 29.4 points per game combined (Dwyane Wade is averaging 28.9 points per game by himself), with two of those players shooting less than 40% from the field this season.

    Last night was truly a game for the ages.  Let's never speak of it again.

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