McGee scored 16 points, snagged 8 rebounds, and swatted 2 shots in just 22 minutes of playing time.
[Note: This is the fourth in a series of simulated playoff series to determine the worst team in franchise history in the Bullets Forever Epic Failoff. In our first match-up, the 5th seeded 92-93 Bullets lost to the 94-95 Bullets, sending them to the 2nd round and the 1966-67 Baltimore Bullets advanced after losing in 7 games to the 1993-94 Bullets. In the third match-up, the 2004 Wizards advanced to the second round after losing to the 2001 Wizards in 5 games. They'll take on the loser of our final first round match-up, as the 1992 Bullets take on the 2009 Wizards. -Jake]
Wizards 95 - Bullets 102
Wizards 114 - Bullets 86
Bullets 70 - Wizards 103
Bullets 93 - Wizards 107
- Wizards 100 - Bullets 90
WASHINGTON - With a chance to clinch the series, the Wizards turned to a pair of unlikely heroes to help nail the coffin shut. Youngsters Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee combined for 30 points and 14 rebounds in the Game 5 victory, helping the Wizards take the series 4-1.
In a season filled with plenty of disappointments, perhaps no players felt it more than Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee. Injuries to more experienced players such as Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas forced the pair to play more minutes than originally anticipated and forcing the team to adjust their development curves on the fly with mixed results.
Tonight, the team got to see the fruits of their labor as both came through with strong performances to close the series. "We knew the Bullets were going to do whatever they could to force Game 6," said Blatche, in between handfuls of popcorn "So we just wanted to make sure that didn't happen." An exhausted McGee added, "It's nice to see that our hard work is paying off," while searching for his missing popcorn.
Antawn Jamison, who at times has been critical of their efforts during this long season, had nothing but praise for the efforts of both players. "They're finally starting to get it," said Jamison after the game "Especially on a night when some of the veterans were off (Jamison shot 8 for 26 from the field), we needed their contributions. Hopefully we'll see more of that in the future."
Coach Ed Tapscott, who oversaw the development of both player this season, echoed Jamison's sentiment. "Excellent job by both guys out there tonight. But as John Dryden once said, 'Men are but children of a larger growth, our appetites as apt to change as theirs, and full as craving too, and full as vain.' So we have remind ourselves that the development process is never over."
When asked if Blatche and McGee had earned keys into Tapscott's infamous "Palace of Good Play" he responded by saying they have weekend passes.