April 5, 2012; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
To take a positive away from this game, it gave the casual viewer insight into the interactions between referees and players. My favorite moment on the night was when 73 year old Dick Bavetta turned to Kevin Seraphin and screamed, "I called a foul because it was a goddamn foul." This is the advantage when you conduct a basketball game in front of 15 paying fans. Perhaps they should rename the Palace the Mausoleum until the Pistons become somewhat decent again.
Goddamn fouls were the story of the evening as the Wizards were given 33 misdemeanors while the Pistons finished with 23. Reaching in, tripping, blocking, Dick Bavetta has to turn to every page of his rulebook to keep the traffic to the free throw line steady and consistent. If the Pistons has shot from the line with any accuracy, we would be talking about a blowout. Instead, their woeful inadequacy at the charity stripe let the Wizards hang around just long enough to make the game competitive in the fourth quarter. In large part, this was due to the efforts of Roger Mason and Cartier Martin being given the green light to bomb away and cut a 20 point lead to 10. It pulled the Wizards within spitting distance, but by that point the Wizards had been reduced to John Wall and whatever they could scrounge off the bench. By scrounge I mean Brian Cook, who decided that he too should be allowed to continue to air it out from long range, and of course missed both of his attempts.
It wasn't a terribly fun game to watch and I fear it will be par for the course as the season winds down and the Wizards appear more than happy to shut down Trevor Booker and Nene for the season. The good news is that John Wall appeared to pull himself out his funk to a degree, but one has to wonder who is going to help him keep these final few games competitive. It certainly doesn't appear like it will be Jordan Crawford, who might want to choose a new hometown to hail from.
Thanks to everyone who stuck around for what resembled more of a Varsity Rugby match than a basketball game. The Wizards will be in Newark tomorrow, which means that they once again have the opportunity to play in front of 100 people. Good seats, they are still available.
See y'all tomorrow.