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Roundup: January 11

A day has passed, and I'm still absolutely euphoric over yesterday's win.  There was a playoff atmosphere, and the Wizards answered Chicago's challenge and proved they could win when Gilbert Arenas struggled.

Ivan's recap emphasized the play of the bench.

The Wizards (20-14) won for the 16th time in 21 games because six players scored in double figures and because their bench players outscored Chicago's reserves, 32-30, while helping Washington overcome a 20-6 third-quarter Chicago run. It was the first time Washington's reserves outscored an opponent's reserves since Nov. 17 against the Detroit Pistons.

Meanwhile, Scott Skiles was not happy with the officiating, and had this to say about the shooting foul call on Kirk Hinrich 75 feet from the basket at the end of the third quarter.

"In the 20 years I've been in the league, I've seen that shooting motion hundreds of times from guys trying to get that call," Skiles said.

"I've never seen it awarded before. I didn't get an explanation."

Umm...I'm not sure what games you've been watching, Scott.  Every time I've seen a similar play occur 10 feet from the basket, it's called a shooting foul.  Just because the foul occurs 75 feet from the hoop doesn't mean the rule is different.  Every referee has a different interpretation of a rule, and it just so happens that this crew interpreted the rules strictly.  It was a smart play by Arenas, and the right call.  The technical, on the other hand, probably wasn't.

John Mitchell of the Times on tonight's win:

Earlier this season the Washington Wizards struggled every time their best player, Gilbert Arenas, had an off game. Last night, though, Arenas' rare subpar performance did nothing to slow down the team.

    Antonio Daniels tied a season high with 15 points, and Jarvis Hayes scored all 10 of his points in the second half as the Wizards knocked off the Chicago Bulls 113-103 at Verizon Center. Arenas scored 20 points but made just five of 16 field goal attempts.

    Daniels, who also drew a key charge from Ben Wallace, and Hayes weren't the only contributors to the Wizards' victory. Caron Butler scored a team-high 26 points and had 10 rebounds for his team-leading 14th double-double, Antawn Jamison added 18 points and nine rebounds and DeShawn Stevenson finished with 13 points.

More from Ivan from the Wizards Insider blog.

Larry Brown became known for repeatedly urging that his teams play "the right way." Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards did that last night against the Chicago Bulls and the result was a 113-103 victory that extended Washington's home winning streak to seven games. Here's what I mean by "the right way": Arenas was suffocated by Kirk Hinrich and Chicago's excellent help defense (they rotate as well as any team in the league) almost from the opening tip so what did he do? Well, after getting hit with an early charging call that came when he put his head down and tried to drive through three bodies, Gilbert basically played like a true point guard by moving the ball to open teammates and the shots he did took were generally good ones.

This game is one where we're seeing the maturation of Arenas.  Before, he would have shot the Wizards out of that game, but tonight, he trusted his teammates and played more like a pure point.  Hopefully that can put to rest those that question Arenas' ability to be a distributor.

In other news, Gilbert Arenas' jersey has risen to the 8th highest in terms of jersey sales.  Speaking of Arenas, blog friend Eric from Hoops Perspectives directs us to the audio of Arenas' interview with John Thompson on Sports Talk 980 yesterday.

Finally, Wizznutzz has uncovered this famous "You da Man!" promotional video for the 1995-96 Bullets.  This was around the first time I started going to Bullets games, so it has a special place in my heart.  I've been looking around for it since I started blogging, and thanks to Wizznutzz, I've finally found it.  Where else can you find both Prices (Brent and Mark), Jim McIlvane, Gheorghe, Tim Legler, and a young, but still crazy Rasheed Wallace in the same video?  Enjoy it in all it's glory!


That's the real reason I'm a Bullets fan