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The Good News: We're Home, The Bad News: We Shot the Lights Out (Actually, that's good too)

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Last Second Shot was at the game on Saturday

Highest Plus/Minus: Darius Songaila (+20)
Lowest Plus/Minus: Antonio Daniels, Brendan Haywood, and Dominic McGuire (-9)

Obviously, most of the focus Saturday night was on Earl Monroe having his number retired as it should have been (you can watch it being retired here).  It's not every day that you see a player get his number retired, it's also not every day that you see some of the weird stuff that happened last night.  Here's some of the oddities from last night:

  • There were as many DNP's as there were players in double figures scoring.
  • This bears repeating: Darius Songaila had the highest plus/minus for either team.  Scarier yet, the second-highest plus/minus belonged to Roger Mason.
  • Antawn Jamison had more blocks than Brendan Haywood and Jamario Moon combined.
  • Jamison and Caron Butler (57 combined points) outscored the Raptors starting five (55 points).
  • Brendan Haywood didn't get his first rebound until the 2nd minute of the third quarter.

In the end, the Wizards still got a W on the back end of a back-to-back against a Raptors team that had the Wizards number for the most part last year.  The margin of victory was a little closer than I would've liked considering Toronto was as banged up as they were, but I'll take it.  Now the Wizards get to rest before a nice homestand where they have eight of their next twelve at home.  

This is going to be a key stretch for the Wizards as they try and keep their heads above water with Gilbert out.  Right now the Wizards are holding onto eighth place in the East and are only one game behind fourth place Toronto.  Last season the Wizards had a similar stretch of home games in January where they made their push to the front of the pack in the East.  If they can have similar success in this stretch, the Wizards could find themselves in a great position when Gilbert finally comes back.  Just look at the Wizards next 12 games (Home games in bold):

  • Cleveland
  • Phoenix
  • New Jersey
  • Minnesota
  • Miami
  • Sacramento
  • Chicago
  • Atlanta
  • Indiana
  • Charlotte
  • New Jersey
  • Miami

It's really not that unfathomable to say the Wizards could win at least eight of these games and if the Wizards can do that, they'd probably find themselves around fourth or fifth in the conference going into January.  I don't think anyone would be disappointed with that, especially considering the Wizards' relative health status.