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Rivalry? You betcha.

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Behind the Boxscore

The Other Side:
Akron Beacon Journal Recap
The Plain Dealer Recap

Highest Plus/Minus: Darius Songaila (+12)
Lowest Plus/Minus: Antonio Daniels (-6)

Well, that was a perfectly crazy game.  A game like that requires something special, like say a corny graphic?

We'll be referring to the chart throughout the post so make sure you have it committed to memory.  I'd read it from the bottom up, it'll make more sense that way.

Caron Butler = Phenomenal: After last night's game Caron said that his swag was at "an all-time high" as well it should have been.  He had a birthday, played well in his first game back and got the W.  Not bad.  Eddie probably should've given a little more rest, because as we all know it's a great idea to give a player that's been out for over a month MORE PLAYING TIME THAN ANYONE ELSE ON THE TEAM.   I understand giving him some time to get in a rhythm and see where he's at but 41 minutes?  You're better than that Eddie.   Even with that considered it was still a strong performance for a rust game from Caron.

Darius Songaila = Struttin' (with Cold Blooded facial expression swag)  Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I think Darius has really stepped it up lately.  He's still not a great rebounder or defender by any means, but he's been shooting the ball better and he's managed to get more steals recently.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that he's hasn't been a liability recently, and I'll take that from him.

Team Rebounding & Free Throw Shooting = Somewhere below laid back: Yes, Anderson Varejao and Ben Wallace can't do jack squat shooting wise, but if you let them grab all the rebounds then they give the guys that can score more chances to do it, and that's not good.  As for the free throw shooting last night, bleah.  Hopefully that's just a one game funk.

The Crowd = Numb Face: I have to say, I was impressed from what I heard from the crowd.  Granted, most of it probably had to do with the polarizing effect of the Cavs fans in attendance, but if it works, it works.  Best of all, no one in the crowd said anything to tick off LeBron (unlike Toronto and Portland) which always helps.  Speaking of ticking off LeBron...

DeShawn Stevenson = Off the charts:  Just in case you haven't seen it, here's what DeShawn had to say about LeBron:

He's overrated, and you can say I said that.

Not only did he dis him, he told them to write it down.  I don't think I've seen that happen since Shaq's infamous Sacramento Queens quote (which you can see at the start of this video).  Swag like that needs a whole new category:

When you can pull off a quote that simultaneously riles up a fanbase, gets people to call you stupid, and manages to get you inducted into the DCO HOF then you've pulled off quite the trifecta.  I'm not sure if he was right (especially considering that being under or overrated is extremely subjective and hard to define), or if he should have even said it.  I think I'll stick with Brett Edwards' opinion on the matter:

Overrated? No, definitely not.  [Ed. Note: Maybe just a little.  In an overrated but still the MVP kind of way.] But there is something to be said for not being afraid to get under another player's skin as a defensive tactic, especially a player as good as LeBron. It seemed to work last night, especially in the fourth quarter. James made only one field goal, and shot just 1-5 in the period, with four of the missed shots coming off of three-point attempts. That's clearly the sign of a player who would rather not deal with his defender, so on this night, DeShawn's bravado paid off. Of course, there's always the possibility that LeBron's mind was simply on other things.

I'm sure there will be more discussion on the matter in the future, but right now the important thing right now is that the Wizards are back at .500, Gilbert should be coming back soon, and as Caron gets back into a rhythm the team should only get better from here.