Game 76 Blog: Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat

Last night's Wizards game against the Miami Heat could be described as pedestrian. Yea, Gilbert got some cheers and assists. Caron played like a man. But both teams seemed to be toiling towards the finish line. That’s not to say that Miami didn’t play hard, and that the Wizards didn’t do their best to match the Heat’s intensity. I suppose watching Miami drain a ton of 3s, a franchise record 19, made the game semi-interesting. Maybe it’s my competitive spirit, but I would have been much more comfortable with a Washington blow out. But I also realize that this team is still trying to find it’s rhythm heading down the final stretch. This season, the Wizards have a decent amount of experience with various 5-man units…so they all should know each other pretty well. Hopefully, health with be the main hill to climb (and it’s a big hill) as Washington makes a push for playoff seeding.

South Beach Miami - flickr/alvez

South Beach, let’s start the show…. [TAI preview plug]

Quarter One

Since most fans aren’t bloggers, or blog readers, most fans are not aware of the state of the Miami Heat. Hate to say I told you so Miami.

Thus, an atmosphere of bewilderment has taken over the Verizon Center. My dad is surprised Pat Riley is not somewhere scouting an 8th grade AAU game.

9:30: A D-Songaila dunk giving him the first 4 points for Washington is not the worst start in the world.

The Wizards make Earl Barron look like a homeless man’s Moses Malone (do I have to credit Bill Simmons every time I replace ‘poor man’ with ‘homeless man’ to insinuate that the situation is more dire? – maybe I should take it further and say that Barron is a crackhead’s Moses Malone. Let me explain…Earl is just a little too active, but he can’t buy a basket in the first 3 minutes. Eddie Jordan calls a frustrated timeout, 4-4 game.

1st 3:00 Earl Barron Stat Line: 2 pts., 4 rebounds (3 offensive), 1 goaltend, 2 missed lay-ups and 2 missed baseline jumpers.

Chris Quinn might be the smartest player in the NBA. Somehow, he is engineering nice ball movement for this hodgepodge Miami team. It almost looks easy for the Heat; they just don’t have the ball players to sink baskets.

Look at Quinn and tell me that he looks like he should be in the NBA. Actually, let me adjust my assessment….there are other smart players in the NBA (probably smarter), but I would say that Quinn leads in Smarts-to-Skills ratio. Never been a fan of Notre Dame, but much respect to that guy for making it.

Gilbert and his incandescent silver shoes check in the game. They look like they would match that shiny suit Puff Daddy and Ma$e used to wear. Is Gilbert the P. Diddy of the NBA? Good god, I hope not. I’m quitting if Gil starts peddling Hibachi Proactive.

With just over 3 minutes left in the first, Songaila gets a steal and the ball goes to Gilbert Arenas streaking down the court……Gil misses a lay-up. Again, jumping off the wrong foot (shooting right and using the good right leg).

At least Gilbert appears to be trying hard….a little too hard on one possession as he falls, loses the ball, and the Heat score. 19-17 Miami. Arenas has picked up 4 assists though…so we are seeing flashes of Gazo the Distributor.

My dad points out that the Wizards Dancer, Kathleen, has probably acquired a nose job and about how it’s easier to look at her now without getting distracted. The Wizards Dance Team uses the Ready to Rule slogan too?…..how about that? You might want to further inspect this link and this one from Don Chavez ….if you have not already done so in the past.

With 3 seconds left, DeShawn nails his 4th three of the quarter. Say what you want about the guy, but he’s a straight warrior to be on the court with the bum ankle. Of course, after seeing footage of him dancing a fool at his 80s party, it can’t be that bad. 29-23 Wizards after 1.

Quarter Two

Caron Butler on the big screen, he’s saying that Andray Blatche has the worst manners on the team….chews with his mouth open, etc. Why am I not surprised?

11:00: Gilbert hits a long three…looks good, I’ll take it. 34-25 Wizards.

10:30: Blatche hits a stop-on-a-dime jumper…excuse me? I have noticed increased confidence in his jumper in recent games. 36-35 Wizards.

The Heat have two 6’2" white guys at the guard spots. Quinn and Blake Ahern. Ahern has never even heard of himself….so he makes introductions with a trey. 43-45 Wizards.

6:15: Caron has hit several tough jumpers tonight. This one makes it 45-37 Wizards, Butler has 9.

4:52: Caron and Antonio work the great give-and-go leading to an oop dunk to Tuff Juice. People are yelling: CARON-IMO!!!

I like the lineup the Wizards have on the court….conducive to good ball movement: Antonio Daniels, DeShawn Stevenson, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Darius Songaila.

3:15: Nick Young and Gilbert Arenas check in together. I’m expecting a show.

3:00: Caron slams in points 12 and 13. Actually, as far as the rest of this season is concerned, Arenas needs to take a back-seat to Butler.

2:30: Nick Young gets a no look Sportscenter alley-oop from Gilbert. Unfortunately, the Burrito has trouble keeping up with Chris Quinn and picks up his 3rd foul in 105 seconds. The half ends with Washington commanding a 60-45 lead.

Quarter Three

This was the halftime show….except replace the Grizzlies logo with the Wizards logo.The physical abnormality of Rubber Boy is obvious, but from observing this guy’s "act," it’s also evident from his stomach churning facial expressions that he may not have had to most normal of childhoods. His website, rubberboy.com, confirms. This dude actually ran away to perform in the circus when he was a teenager. He also touts the ability to kiss his own butt. Sure kid….that’s not all you’re doing. Uhh….When in Rome?

Quinn kicks in gear with 5 early points, he’s got 14 for the game. Haywood wakes up with a dunk. 66-51 Wizards.

9:00: Songaila lets some Canadian named Joel Anthony get a rebound over him. Pride hurting, Darius snatches the ball away.

Meanwhile, Andray Blatche shows fleeting interest in the game, sitting all the way at the end of the bench. His fingernails are currently taking precedent over basketball.

5:00: Haywood is getting active on the offensive boards, pulling three in the last 90 seconds.

Kiss Cam Humor:
I’m glad someone figured out it would be hilarious to show two players on the bench from the opposing team as the very last ‘kiss cam shot’

Alex Johnson and Earl Barron seem to be this evening’s victims. Pat Riley plays along by walking to their end of the bench and making motions with his arms, encouraging the two to hook up.

3:46: Andray Blatche continues the J confidence, A 3-pointer from him gives the Wizards a 20 point lead, 80-60.

2:35: Quinn hits his own three. He’s got 17 and the Wizards are up 17.

0:50: Nick Young is having trouble with Quinn again as Chris nails two 3s in 30 seconds. The 3rd ends and the Wizards hold a 88-72 lead.

Quarter Four

10:30: Alexander Johnson missed two FTs that would’ve cut the Wizards lead to 8 with a lot of time left. Butler answers with a strong drive and pretty dish to Blatche for a dunk. 90-78 Wizards.

Miami is really bad…..but the Wizards look casual as hell. At least Gilbert resembles confidence on offense….Haywood, Stevenson, Arenas, Butler and Blatche have a chance to get used to each other on the court.

Caron Butler has had a solid-all around game, he ends up finishing with 29 points, 3 steals, 5 assists, 3 boards, and some healthy dunks.

3:06: A careless Lock Smith tries to tip a loose ball to AD, no success. Ricky Davis turns the turnover into a three. 103-91 Wizards.

2:04: The game is complete as Roger Mason nails his second 3 of the game. 106-91.

0:47: Nick Young checks in for AD…acting like Eddie Jordan is doing him no favors and appearing like he’d rather stay on the bench. After a Quinn FT, Blatche rolls the in-bounds pass to Young….to delay the start of the clock. Doing this up 15 with 47 seconds left? Classless.

Eventually, the City takes the laziest 3-point attempt ever…..insulted to get in, huh Nick?

That game is in the books, 109-95 Wizards.

On to the City of Wind….

 Michael Jordan Statue, Chicago - flickr/wallyg

 

Chicago Photo - flickr/wallyg
South Beach Photo - flickr/alvez

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