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Wizards 109, Kings 106


I've never felt worse about a victory.  It should have been a blowout, and instead, the Wizards ended up getting incredibly lucky.  Let's do this bullet point style.

  • I know this team struggles defensively, and I know that it can't improve overnight.  But tonight was simply unacceptable.  How many times does Mike Bibby need to hit an open three-pointer before you get out on him?  Bibby wasn't doing anything but shoot threes.  He wasn't taking the ball to the rim, and he wasn't really passing much unless he didn't have a shot.  Yet he was unmarked every time.  I'm tempted to put all the blame on Gilbert Arenas, but many of Bibby's threes came in transition.  That's on everyone.
  • Offensively, why did it suddenly become 4 guys watching 1 guy go one-on-one?  Granted, the Wizards offense is mostly an isolation-based system, but at least there's a lot more movement and activity away from the ball.  Instead, the rest of the guys looked timid, which is exactly why they lost so many close games last season.  Sactown Royalty is all over praising Francisco Garcia for stopping Arenas in the fourth quarter, but the rest of the Wizards deserve an assist.
  • All that uncharacteristic sloppiness killed me.  As long as the Wizards held onto the ball, they were carving up the Kings' defense.  Until Garcia switched on Arenas, the Kings had no answers.  Caron Butler started to heat up in the third, because he was too quick for Ron Artest.  DeShawn Stevenson had another big game on Kevin Martin.  But all those turnovers, very few of which were legitimately forced, were awful and uncharacteristic.  I can't honestly find a reason why that happened.
  • Finally, my last bullet point is reserved for Eddie Jordan.  Were you trying to let the Wizards lose?  How do the Wizards play THE ENTIRE FOURTH QUARTER without Brendan Haywood, Etan Thomas, or Andray Blatche?  How can you play Michael Ruffin in crunch time minutes, even though he was pretty good earlier in the fourth?  How can you play Darius Songaila instead of Blatche?  How can you play Jarvis Hayes at power forward after effectively saying you wouldn't only a couple weeks ago?  How can you go small when Sacramento can counter by moving Artest, a big guy already, to the four and play the mobile Brad Miller at the 5?  The players are probably to blame for the blown lead, but Jordan put them in an awful position.

Hell, a win's a win, but how many times can the Wizards get wins like this against bad teams at home?  If the Kings don't shoot 59 percent from the free throw line, this is a loss.  If the referees don't blow the foul on Caron Butler after he stripped Bibby (Butler clearly tripped on his own feet), this is likely a loss.  If Garcia doesn't foul out on that questionable call, this is likely a loss.  If Sacramento doesn't commit 24 turnovers of their own, this is a loss.  You can't keep getting lucky over and over again.