Highest Plus/Minus: Darius Songaila (+21)
Lowest Plus/Minus: Andray Blatche (-10)
Sometimes you have games where you come out and play great and lose and sometimes you come out and play like crap and somehow to manage to win. After a year of dealing with a lot of former, this was probably the first game of the latter this season. It's just something that happens a lot in sports unfortunately: a team underestimates their opponent and the game ends up being much closer than everyone anticipated. When you factor in that Brendan Haywood was out with a knee and Caron's wrist was bothering him throughout the game, it makes a perfect recipe for an upset. Luckily for us, the Clippers forgot one very important ingredient:
Just think how things would've changed without Tippopotamus in the line up:
If it hadn't been for his 18 first half points, the Wizards would've found themselves in a much bigger hole for most of the game. Then again, going down big early might have woken the team up sooner and maybe the Wizards would've put the game away in the second half and avoided the drama altogether, but that gets into a long, complicated web of what ifs that I'd rather not deal with.
If it hadn't been for his crazy, leaning twenty-five footer over Mobley with 4.6 seconds to go, the game would've been over right there. In a career of crazy shots from Antawn Jamison, that might have just been the craziest.
If it hadn't been for his quick release, there's no way that he would've been able to draw the shooting foul to tie the game. Normally, his quickness works against him because he fires so quickly that the refs never see him get fouled (at least that's what Antawn seems to think) but in this case, it worked out great for him. Had he been half a second slower on getting into the act of shooting, the ref probably would've only given him two foul shots, or none at all.
If it hadn't been for his cool under pressure, he might have pulled a Darius Washington.
Finally, if it hadn't been for his ability to channel his inner-Hibachi and keep the hot streak going into OT, who knows if the Clippers wouldn't have found a way to still win it.
Speaking of Hibachi, hearing that he could be back as soon as Wednesday is probably the best news that came from yesterday, especially since the 76ers managed to win again. There will be time to talk more about the 76ers who are keeping up (or the Raptors who are sliding down to us) in the future. Right now, I think it's time for us to once again reacquaint ourselves with Agent Zero a little bit more. I can't guarantee that you won't hyperventilate in excitement: