Game 64 Blog: Washington Wizards vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Caught the game live and in person last night. Here it goes.....

Quarter One

Sasha Pavlovic scores the first points of the game on a driving lay-up right down the gut of the lane. My dad’s loud comment of "don’t let a white guy drive on you" elicits some laughs from the crowd. Which gets me thinking…..are Euros white? Does the fact that his name is Sasha change the equation? Does the fact that Pavs hails from a town called Bar change the equation in the other direction?

LeBron’s first shot comes just after the 10 minute mark. Surprisingly, his possession of the ball results in boos from the Verizon; these morph into cheers when he misses.

Yea, the Cavs are Dust Bowlin’ too, with all the injuries. Who else is going to score besides LBJ? Benny Wallace and Andy Varejao are some clumsy bastards in the post.

Looks like Tony Daniels got the Telly Savalas tonight……the fresh shape up. Getting ready for C-But’s party son.

7:00 - The game is tied at 8 apiece.

Under 6, Caron Butler goes hard to the basket....&1. Man, that dude does not know how to hold back.

4:30 - Butler gets a turnaround jumper on Pavlovic. I feel like Tuff Juice can body up Pavs more, but I can understand electing non-contact. Unfortunately, Caron’s J is sandwiched by two Sasha threes.....who has 8 points in 8 minutes on the Juice.

I like that Caron has bested Pavlovic with his 9 points in 8 minutes; I suppose defense is tougher on the hip.

Of course, I gotta have a guy from Cleveland sitting behind me. He wasn’t obnoxious in any way…..just typically bias; the same I’d be at a game in the Mistake by the Lake. The Cleveland fan definitely earns my respect when he calls Damon Jones a clown.

I vaguely recall this discussion about New Balance with my friends not too long ago. They make a great running shoe, but who the hell would wear New Balance basketball shoes? We couldn’t name a college team that wore them (an NBA player wasn’t considered), but figured there had to be one NCAA team that needed free shoes.

I never looked up the college. But do you know what NBA player wears New Balance? Devin Brown does. Judging by the fact that Devin is the all time leading high school scorer in greater San Antonio, and that he played for four seasons at UT-San Antonio (finishing the school’s all-time leading scorer), oh and also that he played 132 games with the Spurs, from San Antonio, I’ll give the all time leading scorer in the multi-level history of San Antonio a pass on the New Balance.

The Wizards are lucky that Lebron missed a lay-up at the end of the quarter. Darius Songaila came way too late on the help. Wizards up 3, 27-24.

Quarter Two

Seems like Butler is getting a lot of minutes. He came out with about 2:30 left in the first, and he’s back in to start the second, along with Nick Young, Darius Songaila, Roger Mason and Andray Blatche.

Caron hits a sweet shot for 13 points in the first 13:33 of the game. My pops said that Gilbert was all laughs on that one.

11:00 – Nick Young tries to take Wally Shizzleback to the hoop….but he didn’t go strong enough and missed the lay-up.

9:20 – My hatred for Damon ‘Fugazi’ Jones increases as he hits a 3 and saunters back down the court.

8:36 - Andray continues to display his passing skills with an assist to D-Song. The Wizards get their lead to 37-30 by being scrappy on defense and by smartly moving the ball on offense.

6:45 – LeBron misses his second lay-up of the game. Off-night I guess…..along with his 3 turnovers in the first quarter. Wonder how long this will last?

6:30 – The refs have noticed King James’ issues and have decided to help with giving LeBron a charge call against Andray Blatche; perhaps one of the worst calls I’ve even seen. James was just allowed to plow right into Andray. Even worse, it’s Blatche’s 4 th foul, after he picked up his 3rd five seconds ago.

The Cavs fan starts with the "LeBron is playing hurt and the Cavs don’t really need this game" line.

3:45 – Poor Jamison and his defense…..I guess you can blame his teammates too. Whatever the case, Benny Wallace should never be allowed to hold the ball for seven seconds before shooting, and making, a robotic (one of those 1950s robots) hook shot.

LeBron James looks like he’s barley playing and Caron Butler looks likes he’s playing too much. I must say, the ball movement on offense looks much better with Caron in the line-up. The flow doesn’t seem as forced. But damn Tuff Juice, why did you have to let a White Euro named Sasha drop 19 on you in the first half?

The Wizards were on their way to controlling the second, taking an 8 point lead within the first 4 minutes. But from there, throw in 6 points from James, 9 from Sasha and the Cavaliers take an 8 point lead of their own at the half, 54-46.

Half stats I noticed:

  • Not many foul shots – the teams are a combined 13-19 from the line.  
  • Cleveland is killing on the boards with a 27-19 edge.
  • Cheers to the Wizards for limiting their turnovers, only 3. Cleveland committed 9.
  • Arena Report: One of my buddies, also at the game sitting across the court, said that a kid received one of those Chipotle burritos and proceeded to toss it up to row J where it exploded all over some poor sap. That’s what he gets for not paying attention.

Quarter Three

Those late TNT games, it’s 9:40 before the 3rd period officially starts.

The drag from last night’s game for Cleveland is evident; they’re cold and unenthusiastic. The Wiz use an 11-3 run in the first 3 minutes to tie the game at 57 capped by a Jamison 3 that hits everything before dropping through the net.

….and 15 seconds later, Sasha Pavs hits another 3, 60-57 Cleveland.

4:10 – Antonio Daniels gets basket-itis all of a sudden as he pulls up on the break. Maybe an opening wasn’t there, but his resulting turnover was inexplicable.

A quick 5 points and an assist in 90 seconds for LeBron. He’s starting to come on after coasting earlier in the game. Cleveland is down 1, 75-76.

1:40 – Nick Young hits a 3 in LeBron’s grill, after James hit a 3 on the previous Cavs possession. Bean Burrito proceeds to do a little talking to Bron-Bron up the court. Doesn’t Nick Young know that’s not a good thing?

The Wizards end the 3rd up one point, 80-79.

Quarter Four

11:24 – Caron Butler makes a helluva smart pass to D-Songaila running on the break after a Nick Young steal. That’s what Butler brings: everything.

LeBron is walking a thin line. He close to being one of those "cry after every call" superstars. Right now, I don’t have a problem with the guy….I’d just hate to see him do that to himself.

7:20 – Nick Young commits a charging foul after trying to run his own 1 on 5 fast-break. Terrible. With only an 86-81 lead, the Wizards can’t afford to just give the ball away like that. …..To be a fly on the wall of Eddie Jordan’s head.

The Cavs fan is becoming annoying with "What are you guys going to do without Gilbert?" questions to his DC friend. Need I remind him of where LeBron is going?

2:45 – Pavlovic hits another shot in Butler’s face. He has 24, 93-89 Wizards.

The refs are not winning fans from either team this game. On another note, 9 times out of 10, the shorts for the Wizards dance team look terrible, especially with all the flair at the bottom in the back - flat asses look even flatter.

About two minutes left. The Wizards have had balanced scoring so far (7 would end the night in double figures), but they can’t seem to decide who takes the shot coming down the stretch. Seems like Caron would be the obvious choice, but you can’t rely on a guy who’s missed 16 straight, can you?

On cue, Caron turns the ball over. He hasn’t scored since half the third quarter was left. And the Wizards haven’t scored a field goal since a big Stevenson three at the 4:20 mark, which at the time gave the Wizards a 9 point lead, 92-83.

1:19 – Jamison only makes 1 of 2 FTs. Just a 3 point lead for the Wizards, 96-93. I don’t like a LeBron James led team hanging around.

The Wizards are running a lot of doubles at LeBron, especially with Ben Wallace in the game (along with D. West, Joe Smith and Devin Brown) – the Cavs still get the offensive rebound against the Washington starting 5.

20 seconds left. 96-94 Wizards after 1 Joe Smith FT…..and DeShawn Stevenson draws a charge on LeBron James. It’s about time a call didn’t go LBJ’s way. Of course, it was a tough call to make at that point in the game, but LeBron made it easy on the refs by not only dropping his shoulder, but also sticking a lil’ chicken wing out there. Play of the game by the Lock Smith.

In 6 seconds of game action: Antonio Daniels makes 3 FTs. LeBron makes 2 FTs. Caron makes 1 FT.

8 seconds left. Damon Jones hits a trey….the Wizards lost him as they put their full concentration on LeBron. Cavs down 1, 100-99….as the teams go into a timeout. Jones gives the "can’t feel my face" move followed by a neck-slash as he walks by DeShawn. You’re telling me that’s not worthy of a tech?

Meanwhile, Gilbert has been goofing around on the bench for the last couple of minutes…..and is standing, arms locked with his fellow Wizards bench-mates as Antonio Daniels only makes 1 of 2 FTs.

Cleveland ball. Seven seconds left. Down 101-99.

LeBron obviously has the ball....DeShawn gets low…..the Cavs clear out…..Brendan Haywood tentatively ready to help.

NOPE! LeBron mails the game in by taking and missing a three pointer which would’ve sealed a win for Cleveland at the buzzer. Guess he figured that the Cavs shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place. Yea, yea....maybe you go for the win on the road, but in every other game, wouldn't you like LeBron's chances of driving and at least getting fouled better? Oh well, his mail delivery is our win.

The only form of scoring for the Wizards in the last four minutes and twenty-one seconds of the game came from making 9 and missing 4 from the FT line. Not a solid way to finish a match, but a solid win nonetheless.

The Wizards prevailed by getting to the FT line more, shooting a better percentage from the field, and by making LeBron commit 7 turnovers, while holding themselves to 9 turnovers. I don’t like getting out-rebounded 51-36, with the Cavs getting 18 offensive boards......but the final score makes it easy to look past this one transgression.

NEXT UP – Home game against the Clippers on Saturday. Thanks for stopping by Wizards Nation.

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