First: Big win for the Caps tonight, and congrats to Ovechkin for setting the franchise record with 61 goals in a season. I’m glad I got to see it before the Wizards game.
Second: Everyone in your knitting circle is going to be talking about Gilbert’s latest blog entry, The Almost Comeback.
- Ivan Carter is calling it "stunning."
- "It’s all there," says Mike Jones.
- Dan Steinberg is caught up in the drama.
- Henry Abbott makes light of the NBA dress code: "You know who's happiest Arenas didn't run his car off the road? David Stern. I can see the "Commissioner's Deadly Dress Code" headlines now."
- It’s only a matter of time until blow-hards such as Skip Bayless start making me run for the mute button.
Unfortunately, the association of Gilbert’s honest thoughts with terms like "visions of suicide" is about to spread like wildfire. Thoughts of suicide imply a level of seriousness which is clearly far from the mindful intent of the Gilbert Arenas. Weird, eccentric, an odd duck, a card, screwy, peculiar, however you want to dissect Gilbert, you cannot dub him as someone who withholds his true thoughts. He conveys a childlike innocence about him, but many times it’s hard not to take his words as if they were coming from a serious adult. Maybe America is not comfortable with having such an open and honest basketball celebrity. I must admit that I was slightly taken back upon reading the Agent Zero blog file. How many agents divulge themselves like that? In any case, overreactions should be tempered. Besides, who would commit suicide with a car?
And now on to the game in Portland Oregon ….
Not the auspicious start the Wizards were hoping for….off the tip, Antonio Daniels gets lazy and allows Steve Blake to sneak in and nab the ball.
As you know, LaMarcus Aldridge is out, Travis Outlaw gets the nod in his place. Connecting Travis Outlaw to Johnny Cash: Travis’ father is a police chief in Starkville, MS. Johnny Cash once got arrested for being drunk in Starkville and spent a night in the city jail. Thus, the song and the connection.
9:30 | The Blazers start 5 of 6 and the Wizards start 1 of 4, nothing going inside or out. Eddie Jordan has yet to pull the trigger on a timeout. 10-2 Portland.
8:30 | Something is not right with the communication on defense. Outlaw and Roy have gotten easy cuts to the hoop. When it comes the talking, the ball is in the players’ court.
7:50 | Tuff Juice has a lot of war wounds. Not long after Steve Buckhantz talks about his face band-aid, left wrist and hip issues, Caron gets a steal, pushes it down the court, gets inadvertently tripped by Brandon Roy as he was going up. Butler went down pretty hard, could be an ankle. Timeout.
Coming back….it’s just an ankle tweak, Caron makes both FTs – the #1 FT shooter in the entire NBA says Steve Buck.
7:20 | I like Haywood going against Joel Przy and Travis Outlaw trying to keep Jamison off the boards. 2 FTs for AJ make it 12-8 Portland.
7:01 | Outlaw with a quick pull-up, this kid is maturing nicely. The Wizards continue to lose track of assignments on defense.
DeShawn is not having a good game so far. His two forced three misses looked terrible, and he’s unable to keep up with Brandon Roy.
4:10 | Wizards are out of sync on offense, but 6-6 on FTs. They are trying to go to AJ and Butler in the post. AJ misses, Butler finally hits on Roy, 20-12 Portland.
3:30 | Pretty play by Andray Blatche -- went strong to basket, pump fake, nothing there, splits D (Frye and Blake), throws up an agile baby right hand hook, Outlaw tips, but the ball goes in the basket, 20-14 Portland.
Blatche is hustling in the game…active, but everything is not going his way. I say again: Travis Outlaw…he’s on the verge.
0:32 | Well, Tuff Juice just put the team on his back with two straight treys. 29-22 Portland. But the Blazers are getting too much paint on the bottom of their shoes.
0:00 | Funny play to end the quarter…Caron attempts a 3 at the buzzer, he misses…it looks like Roy goes into him, they both go down hard. But Caron gets right up, Baby Brandon needs the trainer to come help him. The replay shows that Caron "might" have grabbed Roy. 31-22 Blazers
Butler: 14 points, 3 rebounds.
Roy: 6 pts, 4 ast, 2 reb..
The statistical reason: FG%: 68-32 Portland.
Wiz are hanging around, only down 6 with the ball. D-Song with a "cagey" move at the 9:30 mark gets the score to 33-29 Blazers.
Let’s play, who blew the D? [and what the Wizards did]
9:10 | No one, Martell Webster got past Roger Mason, but Jr. knocked it away [Blatche turnover bad pass]
8:53 | No one again, 3 second call on Pryzbilla [Blatche turnover - bobbled a pass that looked tought to handle, but still….]
8:20 | James Jones misses a wide open triple – I’ll blame the whole team for him being open, not the Wizards’ fault that he missed.
7:43 | No one, Songiala was on Channing Frye when he traveled [Mason hits a 3, 33-32 Blazers]
6:50 | Mason falls for a Brandon Roy jab, but Roy misses. Blatche gives up an offensive rebound to LaFrentz, Frye eventually gets an open jumper from the corner after James Jones dibble penetration. 35-32 Blazers.
6:07 | Raef gets a jumper, Jack gets an assist – I blame lazy. [AD gets a driving lay-up, 37-34 Blazers]
5:21 | The whole team. Wiz overload and Jones is wide open for 3, Jarrett Jack assist [Mason answers with a 3, 40-37 Portland]
4:48 | AD lets Jack penetrate, again. Blatche is watching. Raef is scoring. [D-Song gets a nice bucket, assist from Caron. 42-39 Blazers]
4:13 | Somehow AD gets matched on Travis Outlaw….no contest bucket. 44-39 Portland.
3:41 | A Stevenson miss gives Portland a transition opportunity. Daniels fouls Jack, 2 FTs.
3:20 | A bad pass turnover by Caron leads to a Webster transition 3, 49-39 Blazers.
2:40 | Outlaw misses for a change. Luck.
2:07 | Jamison fell asleep on Travis Outlaw in the corner. It’s a three, 52-41 Blazers [ AD dribbles around as the shot clock gets low, he takes a bad shot]
1:30 | Stevenson loses track of J. Jack at the top of the key for a deuce. [Butler J, 54-43 Portland]
0:52 | Wizards team zone leaves Jack alone again, for a three. 57-43 Blazers.
0:17 | Jarrett Jack again…splits trap easily and hits a J – the whole team effort gets blame.
17-4 run ends the half for the Blazers and the Jarrett Jack Show (9 points, 4 assists in second) – 59-43 Portland.
Whatever the stats are, I’m sure they speak for themselves. Yes, Portland came out hot, [Ok, stats: shooting 62% in the first quarter and just below that for the half] but a lot of the Portland makes were wide-open attempts. Getting down early, the Wizards have shown brief glimpses of fight on offense, but they’ve yet to display any type of energy or effort on defense.
DeShawn Stevenson: His head has not been in the game.
Portland Fans: Brandon Roy left the game with a groin with 6:20 left in the second.
For the 3rd, I’m going to grade the Wizards offensive possessions. My assumption will be that during the half, the Wizards will get motivated, knowing a comeback starts with defense. The first game of trip sets tone, Washington will come out and play hard-nosed defense. In the 3 rd, it’s going to be all about what the Wizards do on offense to put the Blazers on their heels.
A - Good basketball bucket
B - Tough make, not ideal offense
C - "Good" miss
D - Bad miss
F - Turnover, etc.
Let me reiterate, Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge are out. Anything less than a win is horribly disappointing.
11:45 |B+ [Tough DeShawn post back-down on Jack.] 59-45 Blazers.
11:03 | D+ [Stevenson goes on back in the lane again, but loses ball in paint…..throws up shot anyway. I guess it’s good to get in paint.]
10:34 | C+ [Antawn misses a back-down hook on Outlaw, couldn’t get roll….not his night, 1-6.]
10:00 | D [Fading Haywood baseline jumper on Pryzbilla, Jack continues his show, Blazers up 20.]
9:35 | B- [AJ goes 1 of 2 from FT line.] 65-46 Blazers.
Bonus: Blazers 3 seconds on D = Caron FT.
9:01 | C- [Caron midrange jumper…not ideal, but he usually makes those.]
8:47 | A- [AD steal and fast break, gets clobbered as usual, misses 1 FT. Down the court, Webster 3 thanks to Blake, 18 points for Martell.] 65-48 Blazers.
8:21 | D+ [Butler long range attempt on Outlaw, semi open, but still no offensive flow.]
7:49 | C [Butler short jumper miss, Haywood tap miss, Butler rebound miss…. nothing will fall. And another Webster 3 leads to an Eddie J timeout, 70-48 Portland.]
The Cycle is Sick.
7:10 | B+ [Haywood pass out of double team, Daniels hits a runner off 1 foot.] 70-50 Portland.
6:40 | A [Daniels penetration to DeShawn in corner for an open rhythm 3, 70-53 Portland.]
6:08 | C [Jamison faded off a high ball screen for AD, open 3 miss.]
5:22 | F [AJ’s bad pass to Haywood is too high to catch.]
4:50 | C- [AJ misses a quick close hook.]
4:37 | A+ [AD steal and no one touches him on his way to the hoop, 73-55 Blazers.]
Eddie Timeout – still no answer to the question: why the hell are the Wizards down 20? I remind yet again: No LaBrandon LaRoy, no LaMarcus LaAldridge.
3:57 | D [Stevenson fading miss.]
3:54 | A+ [For the Jamison offensive rebound and put-back effort.]
Nick Young is all of a sudden in the game. Wizards are still down 20, 75-55.
3:12 | D [Daniels to Butler in paint….bobble, LaFrentz block, miss.]
2:50 | D- [Nick Young lazy miss.]
2:38 | A+ [Steal and Daniels easy transition bucket.] 80-59 Portland.
2:05 | C+ [Butler fake 3, drive to basket, tough miss.]
Bonus: AJ O-bound. Timeout – Portland 70% on 3s. Great Oden’s Raven.
1:58 | A [Jamison post hook on Outlaw after some Wizard yelled "you got ‘em"]
1:25 | A- [Decent, albeit sporadic ball movement leads to a Lock Smith 3.]
0:59 | A [AD drive nets 2 FTs and a "they’re still alive" 9-0 run.] 80-66 Blazers.
0:14 | C- [Same screen fade 3 between AD and AJ leads to a "Just doesn’t have it tonight" from Steve Buck.]
8 As, 3 Bs, 7 Cs, 6 Ds, and 1 F = Absolutely Terrible. Wizards down 82-66.
Phil Chenier: "At least they got it under 60 percent." – talking about the Portland Trailblazer FG% for the game…great.
11:45 | D-Mac starts with a block that gets the Blazer crowd buzzing.
Get this: AD, AJ, D-Mac, Young and Mason in the game….what a tiny lineup
Could be a short 4th quarter blog.
9:46 | Nick Young wakes up with a sick flying scoop shot. Moxie. But the next time, he gets his ____ pushed in by Joel Pryzbilla.
6:55 | Caron still believes….19 points. 87-71 Blazers. The small lineup is giving up a lot of offensive rebounds.
6:18 | Sign that it’s that kind of game: Steve Blake is throwing up garbage…again and again. 92-71 Portland.
Oh, you’re still here? There’s 4 minutes left, but you can probably stop reading as the Wiz have stopped rebounding, Portland is +18 in that category right now.
I was right, the game ends 102-82 in favor of the Portland Trailblazers.
- This is a "sky is falling" game that needs to be forgotten, quickly.
- Wiz out-rebounded by 19, Portland got 17 offensive boards.
- Dreadful defense led to very lackluster offense for Washington, or is it the other way around?
- NBA.com Box Score
Your 2007-2008 Washington Wizards:
Ready to Rule Out Consistent Play
Party on Paul Allen's Yacht.