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Saturday's jabs

I'd love for there to be a better name for this, but so many other ideas have already been taken.  We already have Bullets, Explosions, Crumbs, and Thumbtacks, so I'll have to make do with jabs.

Without further ado.

  • For the second straight game, the Wizards offense went through large stretches of ineffective one-on-one play.  It didn't cost them against Sacramento, but it definitely hurt last night, as Ivan Carter discussed.
For most of the game, Washington's ball movement consisted of Arenas or Butler squaring up against a defender -- in Chicago's case, that usually is a long-limbed, quick-footed one such as Deng -- before either taking a contested jump shot or driving into the teeth of Chicago's defense, which is backed up by center Ben Wallace, who finished with 8 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks.

For an 8-minute 40-second stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters, Arenas was the only Wizard who scored, and as the Bulls put away the game with a 32-point fourth, any semblance of offensive cohesion was gone as Arenas was relegated to taking contested shots from outside or to driving and trying to work his way through a swarm of waiting Chicago defenders.

  • Speaking of the Sacramento game, the Kings may have a legitimate beef with the way the last second transpired.  John Hollinger e-mailed Henry Abbott of True Hoop and said the following.
If you watch the replay, the timer accidentally took 0.1 off the clock right after the free throw, taking it from 0.8 to 0.7 even though the ball was dead -- with an extra 0.1 Salmons' shot probably counts and the game goes to OT.

I definitely remember the clock going from 0.8 to 0.7 before the ball was thrown in, but I also remember wondering how John Salmons was able to catch the ball, step back, square up, and release in less than a second.  Even if they did take away a tenth of a second, the clock started late, so it wouldn't have counted anyway.

  • Everyone's favorite blogger-pretending-to-be-a-columnist Bill Simmons handed out trade deadline grades.  He gave nearly every team an F or worse, and chastised NBA GMs for lacking the guts to make a big trade.  Here's what he said about the Wizards:
The Wizards have an MVP candidate and a likable team in a crappy conference, but with a catch: their two centers (Etan Thomas and Brendan Haywood) despise one another and fought three times in the past two seasons. Most teams would proactively try to move one of them -- for instance, they could have offered Haywood, Jarvis Hayes' expiring deal and their No. 1 for Jamaal Magliore and Portland's No. 2 -- but since this is the NBA, and nothing makes sense, the Wiz chose to stand pat. I asked my buddy House (a Wizards fan) about this and we had the following exchange:

House: "They like Thomas and Haywood together because they play 42 minutes a game combined and give them a 12-11 every night. ... They didn't want to mess that up."

Me: "Wait, they were worried that their production would drop from a position that was giving them a 12-11 every night?"

House (after a pause): "Whaddya want from me? I didn't say it made sense."

A couple bloggers have already posted their rebuttals, but seriously, what's with the sensitivity?  Simmons had a main point (a good one), tried to apply it to every team (a bad strategy), and ended up making complete sense with some teams and no sense with others.  I personally think he's pushing it with the Wizards, because what exactly is the point of such a move with Portland?  It just seems like a lateral move to me, and unlike his buddy House, we know that Thomas' contract, not his production, is stopping most deals.  

But why waste even more time with a rebuttal?  Some of his points made complete sense (I agreed with him about Chicago, Orlando, and the two Los Angeles teams, and I was intrigued by the Milwaukee idea with Mo Williams) and others didn't (New Orleans throwing themselves into the Vince Carter sweepstakes?  Huh?  And why criticize New Jersey when they weren't getting any good offers back for Kidd?), but I liked his unique thinking.

  • Finally, yours truly participated in the first SB Nation blogger roundtable over at Clips Nation.  ClipperSteve asked everyone what their first change(s) would be if they were named commissioner of the NBA, and some of the answers were pretty intriguing.  Most centered around defensive three seconds, and there was an interesting debate between Blogabull and Sactown Royalty on the salary cap.  Be sure to check that out, and post what you would do first in the comments section.