The very first practice I attended at the Verizon Center was the infamous Gilbert Arenas "phantom limb" session where Arenas admitted to feigning an injury to get Nick Young more playing time. What went unnoticed at that practice was Nick Young, buried two players deep at both the SG and SG position, quietly standing at the corner during practice draining threes. After each shot that Young made he would look over to the coaching staff to see whether they were acknowledging the shots he was making. During that session, Young made all 30 of the three point shots he attempted. Following the drill, Young looked over to Flip Saunders and said "Hey Coach, I made all 30," and then shuffled off to talk to his teammates. At the time, I thought it was one of the saddest sights I had witnessed during my time watching the Wizards. I also realized that for all the crap I have given Young over the years I had pegged him wrong. He wasn't a player who didn't try hard and wasn't practicing, but someone who just wasn't grasping the system enough to contribute effectively.
Tonight Nick Young went for 43 points and clutched his game ball joyfully during the postgame interview.
I've never been happier to be totally wrong.
Much more later. I need tonight to process the game and what we just witnessed.