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Game Blog: Wizards vs Cavaliers: 2008 NBA Playoffs Rd. 1 Gm. 3

Wack Rapper Alert!
(but hey....if it means good luck....)


Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

[As a result of yesterday's technical difficulties, this game blog also appears on, along with Jake's Game Thread , a Festivus of Game 3-Related Links , and The Haywood Incident: A Final Thought.]

As I'm sure the guys will do the same, along with SB Nation (as they were having trouble with most of their blogs), we apologize profusely for yesterday's outage. I haven't received word on what officially happened, but let's just say there is a reason for everything and that it led the Wizards to getting their first win in this year's playoffs out of the way. I truly missed the live comments that we've had going for games. Here's to bouncing back on Sunday. And now, I present to you, the game blog (a 63 point swing, how about that?):

David Stern was on Comcast before the game talking with Russ Thaler and Mike Wise of the Washington Post ...who was hitting him with some hard questions, albeit halfway in jest....such as:

Why does LeBron travel worse than Patrick Ewing in the 80s?
Laughing non-answer. Or....
Why do superstars get calls? Evidently Stern can prove that this is not true with statistics, but doesn't have the time....yeah riiiight.

Later, Rock Cartwright of the Redskins joins the pregame show. He says that neither Caron Butler parties nor Gilbert Arenas parties have anything on Fred Smoot parties....of course, Mike Wise and Russ Thaler are admittedly put in a rough position.....but they mentioned the Love Boat nonetheless. Unnn-com-for-ta-ble.......

Wow...a lot going on in the pre-game, huh?

Initially, Eddie Jordan said that Gilbert Arenas felt some slight pain and aching in his left knee and that he might not play at all.  Comcast reported this around 7:15.

Then, when the show was thrown to Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier, who were "just" handed the starting card at 7:30, Gilbert Arenas' name was on it.

Who knows with this team? As we all are probably well aware, the Wizards had a loose game-day locker least with hair-dos as Caron carved "Tough Juice" in the back of his head , evidently himself, and Andray Blatche and Nick Young were sporting mohawks. My initial reaction is that this team doesn't need to be clowning around...then again, I'd rather have them loose than uptight.

Ron Thompson makes a nice assessment on how Gil starting will affect Roger Mason (as Antonio Daniels will be coming off the bench)....essentially, Ron speculated that Roger might play better because he is used to playing with AD. We will see. Personally, I'm more curious to see how AD will play. (Even though I have a good feeling about the Silent Assassin.) The Wiz have gotten zilch from AD this series. We need his energy off the bench.

Phil Chenier had a recent sit down with Gil:

On yesterday's practice: an "emotional film session" where they knew Eddie Jordan was going to come down some players throats.  He wasn't the usual laid-back Eddie. The most unusual part though was when Gil was talking about Jordan coming down on those who took selfish shots in game 2.....Gil was glad that he only had one instance.....Whhhat? I gotta go back and look at that. Really? Only 1 bad shot from Gil?

Watch Comcast or TNT? How about both....two+ TVs makes it easy, but who do you listen to? I'm inclined to put the volume on TNT. Barkley says that Gil has to "pass the damn ball".....and that seals the deal. I'm going with TNT. I like my hometown guys, but I'm not ready to hear anything slightly bias this game. Of course, we'll have to see how Dick Stockton and Mike Fratello do.....

Arenas is going to be limited to 28-30 minutes....LeBron is miming homeruns on the court during intros....Yankees fans..."great"....and then LBJ does his powder thing. Very original LeBron.

Quarter One

The White-Out looks decent....Bron gets booed as the Cavs get the tip. Caron is defending James to start. He misses a jumper.

Soldier Boy sighting? Nope, not least not on TV. LeBron blocks a Butler transition layup....and then goes down and gets a layup. Same ol', huh?

10:38: Wiz ball movement gets AJ a lane for a layup...first Wiz points. 2-2 game.

Wally hits and easy step back on Gil...interesting matchup there as DeShawn is on Delonte West.

10:06: Haywood yells after the baby hook. The Cavs go to Wally again cause Gil is on him. Mike Brown will go to whomever Gil is guarding.

Looks like DeShawn has a mohawk too.

9:28: Patient offense....lob to BTH, scores on Big Z and draws the foul...As Ilgauskas is draped on BTH, Haywood stupidly throws a chicken win into his stomach...Big Z then gives a push back. Initially it looks like a tech is just on Z, it's actually a double T and justifiably so...Eddie is pissed. 6-4 Wiz after FTs.

DeShawn gets a steal, but guns a trey.. Nope. Ilgauskas somehow gets a breakaway dunk and BTH smartly doesn't do anything like foul as he was following behind. 6-6 game.

8:51: Gil misses his first 3....high rebound. Two Cavs and DeShawn go up for it..DS gets there first and gets the foul, he really skied on that one.

8:42: Hook Stevenson..LeBron is guarding him and he tries a dribble then guns the rock..a three miss. No need for that BS...

Then Stevenson misses a layup after LBJ (or Wallace) blocked Haywood...not a good start for the Lock Smith.

7:55: Uh oh...getting the calls against LeBron out of the way early..Bron gets a charge called on him.

Gilbert and BTH run a pick and roll....dunk. 8-8 tie. I'm proud of the Verizon center atmosphere....I'm not there but it sounds pretty intense.

Cavs post Wally on Gil...he misses an easy...Arenas drives back at him and gets a lay-in Cleveland didn’t expect drive from Gil. 10-8 Wiz.

5:57: Wallace gives Jamison a bear hug pelvic thrust thingee from the back and picks up his 2nd foul...first commercial break 10-10 game.

Gil goes to the bench and TNT reports that he had an MRI earlier today, the result is a bone bruise. AD is in the game.

5:27: LBJ misses a 3 in the corner, Wallace gets the board. The Wiz don't even pay attention to LBJ going to the hoop to receive pass from Wallace for a dunk. 12-10 Cavs.

AD gets his first layup and looks like himself. Next time down (after a Wally miss), Butler gets his first FG, a midrange baseliner. 14-12 Wiz.

So far on defense, the Wizards are moving much quicker and keeping up with Cleveland's ball movement. This game, they are sprinting to cover their assignments.

3:44: Wiz get into penalty as Joe Smith fouled Butler on a rebound.....seems like the Wiz are going up harder and higher for boards.

3:15: Varejao completely flops....what a douche....but I can't blame the ref for calling a charge as Caron had his arm out there. Butler should know that Andy V. will try to set people up with his dramatics.

Another charge is called...this time on Andray....looks like another good whistle. LeBron is present in the paint, especially on offensive boards, but the Wiz have packed it in, minimizing drives. Another TV timeout, 16-12 Wizards. 5 turnovers for the Cavs, 3 for LBJ...but only 2 points for the Wiz off that. Washington has 4 turnovers themselves.

1:44: LeBron misses an impatient 3...AD jets the rock all the way to the hoop....And 1 on Andy Varejao who judging by his face, has never committed a foul.....ever.

Blatche gets the timing and throws Devin Brown's shit. The Cavs started 6-11 from the field, 1-8 since.

0:09: With the clock winding down, LeBron James goes up, leading with his knee a la Karl Malone. Makes the hoop and 1. Nice move, dick. 21-17 Wizards.

A hard fought first quarter. Wiz were up 9, but it ends 21-17. 

  1. Lotta turnovers: 6 for the Cavs, 5 for the Wiz.
  2. Curiously, Wiz have 5 steals and Cavs have 0.
  3. DC is shooting 40% from the field and 5-5 from the FT line.
  4. Cavs at 38%, only 1-1 on FTs.

Quarter Two

Both teams start with turnovers. LeBron James on bench to start 2nd.

10:38: MaseON for three. Thanks buddy, bout time....(he missed a layup at the end of 1st). 24-17 Wiz.

Andray blocks Big to love Blatche's presence to start.

10:06: Mason pump fake....see ya Boobie...ball transfer...and buckets. 2 pointer. 26-17.

9:29: MaseOn again...this one was easy as the Wiz has a 4-1 fast break...Haywood was out high covering a Big Z screen for West, BTH poked the ball away and got the steal. SWARM! 6-0 Silent Assassin run!

Larry Hughes is in the house. Comcast's Chris Miller is interviewing him on the sideline.....and I could care less.

9:04: AD fouled Devin Brown on a 3 attempt.....ok, should be a call....just didn't think they would do it after the shot missed and the rebound was secured (by Varejao I think). Brown makes 2 of 3.

Blatche, Haywood, Mason, Butler and AD in (interesting lineup...I'm down)....Mason miss...Blatche board, kick out to back to Blatche for the dunk. 30-19 Wizards.

MVP so far: Andray Blatche
LVP: DeShawn, 0-3

7:45: Really? Are you kidding me? They call a travel on Big Z? Noooo!! I just heard an 'oink' outside of my 5th floor window. And after that...just as everyone is wondering where LBJ is, Mike Brown gets him off the bench. Pretty good rest for LeBron. Gilbert also checks back in....

7:01: Mason takes a heat check coming off screen...looks like a play run for him, not a bad miss.

Arenas has his point guard head on a swivel coming down the court....Cavs lose Butler, he gets the pass from Gil and a dunk on Andy's back. Mason gets a steal....but misses the three. I would have liked to see Mason not do that. 32-22 Wiz.

6:31: Cavs commit another turnover...their point guard play is terrible. That's their 13th, Delonte has 3.

6:01: Butler hits a trey and everything is going right so far....

Oh, Butler....really? You go for a Varejao pump fake? Cavs points...then a Wiz turnover...trying to go for a homerun pass.

Jamison Block! Benny Wal-lace...wrong direction brah! Wiz get the ball, Jamison runs the court, Gil flips him a no look basket but foul and 2 FTs. That's the Bill Russell play of the game. 36-24 Wiz.

Hmmm...why is LeBron not going inside as much...scurred? (that's how people say 'scared' in Mur-lin, I mean Maryland)

4:19: Gil with a sweet bounce pass to AJ...he "lulled the Cavs to sleep" - Phil C's words.  But dammit if AJ doesn't miss both FTs.

Tell you what Big Z counters Haywood's points.....the Wiz are doing a much better job with getting hands and eyes in the passing lane when LeBron cuts through.

3:00: Meanwhile...Gilbert Arenas limps into the locker room.

Stevenson rattles home a trey....his face goes numb again...idiot. C'mon, don't do that crap. 43-29 Wizards.

2:33: Butler steal...Mason all the way to the hoop...the Verizon center is going nuts.

The Wizards points off turnovers has picked up....they now have 18.

1:53: Caron hits a running bank...11-2 Wiz run since the 4 minute mark.

0:55: really, wow - Caron Butler spins and splits a white guy double team (Big Z and Wally World) he drives and hits a double-clutch hanging one-hander. Amazing. Mike Fratello compares Butler to Elgin Baylor. Barkley would later compare this move to Dr. J. High compliments.

LeBron is a no-go for a shot as the clock runs down...he's pleading his case to the ref. I think I see a tiny Johnny Cochran devil and angel on his shoulders and that's the half.

49-33 Wizards. A great job from every angle...the crowd, the offense, the defense, the coaching. My inner skeptic reminds me that there's a TON of time left. But still, you couldn't script it better.....aside from the part about Gilbert going to the locker room....Cause I've never seen a movie where the supposed good guy gets taken out and the movie gets better, until tonight perhaps. (And no, I'm not counting that movie where Samuel L. Jackson got eaten by a shark, Deep Blue Sea)

Half Stats:

  1. Wizards FG=50% (64% in 2nd quarter)- Cavs=39 %.
  2. Points in paint 30-12 Wiz.
  3. Turnovers: 15 Cle, 9 Wiz.
  4. Steals: 9-1 Wiz.
  5. FTs 7-9 Wiz, 5-8 Cavs
  6. Boards- Cavs up 19-16, 6-2 offensive
  7. 3s - 2-8 Wiz, 0-3 Cavs
  8. LBJ was 5-11, the rest of Cleveland was 9-25
  9. Points: Caron 12, LeBron 11, Haywood 10

Quarter Three

Gilbert Arenas is out for the rest of the game....but he's sitting on the bench (of course, right....well, you never know sometimes).

My biggest fear....if the Wizards win big, is that they talk smack (ok, only DeShawn) and get the Cavs angry.

11:35: 3rd starts with an AD miss at the end of the shot clock......don’t like it.

11:20: Although, LeBron is also settling for jumpers. Nope.

The Cavs have no offensive flow.....they're left with Ben Wallace dibbling in post, almost traveling....and a miss. He gets his own board....Wally misses a shot that looks flat.

Haywood is no doubt getting the best of Big Z.....easy post possession on offense nets 2 FTs....and BTH is drawing offensive fouls on other end. 53-34 Wizards.

Butler goes hard for a steal..not close. Cavs convert. 53-36.

Daniels is doing a good job of penetrating and dropping dimes to AJ so far. He's also playing D that's better than what we're used to from him.

8:27: AJ continues hotness with a J off the screen. AD made a perfect pass for his 3rd assist in 3rd. 58-38 Wizards.

7:47: Cavs get two offensive boards on one possession but can't knock down any of three jumpers. LBJ 3, Wally mid-range, West 3....nope all day.

Cleveland fans should  be mad at West's D right now because Daniels is doing what he wants.

DeShawn has been on LBJ the past three or so possessions

6:58: Stevenson hits a trey.....and here we go. Ambasol on the face (I feel I should explain's numbs tooth-aches) Cleveland timeout. 14-5 Wizards run, 63-38. Lotta time left....left.....left......

6:39: LeBron hits a funky bank runner. 63-40 Wiz.

6:21: DeShawn hits another 3....yea, easy to hit them when you're up 20, huh? (sorry, I'm still mad at him)

5:55: DeShawn with a heat check 3 and miss...DAMMIT - DON'T DO THAT CRAP!!! GET A GOOD SHOT YOU MF!!!! (I'm still scared of a crazy comeback)

Delonte West is a funny looking dude....If I were directing an old tymie play, I'd cast him as a shoe shine boy....Hey Mista!!

You know it's going bad for Cavs when Big Z makes 1 of 2 FTs. 68-43 Wizards.

4:25: Oh No! Jamison misses an easy dunk back cutting LeBron, who didn't have his head on a swivel....nice pass from Caron.

Caron strips the ball from LeBron...dunk you very much. He knew LBJ was going to settle for a jumper. Got em like Sidney Dean baby!!! 72-43 Wiz.

Dammit....Caron misses a J....he slipped....Cavs come down and Joe Smith gets a dunk. Eddie calls a timeout...Caron limps to the bench. Hopefully it's not too serious, doesn't seem like it. 72-45 Wizards.

TNT is reporting that Eddie Jordan went army on the Wizards: He broke them down after game 2 and then built them back up. I know there's a Full Metal Jacket joke here somewhere.

0:52: That's what I like to see....Andray gets the ball on the wing and drives it right down Varejao's throat...and gets a foul call. 1 of 2 FTs, but Wiz get the ball back.

Uh comes trouble. Nick Young has just checked in.

0:40: Mase Still pull-up Buckets. 77-48 Wiz.

Another thing I like: The Wiz are still doubling LeBron to get the ball out of his hands.

Uh oh....the Wizards fans chant overrated while LBJ is at the line....and that dude can't help but smile during both shots, missing the 2nd. Of course, the Cavs get a steal or something and LeBron puts on a cape and throws down a dunk.

After only 4 points in the first....Jamison has nailed 11 in the 3rd. 7 came in the first 4.5 minutes. That's how you start an important quarter. It is now 77-51 Wizards.

Quarter Four


Big Z gets an easy to start 4th. 77-53.

11:20: But D-Song and Andray keep attacking the basket until the ball goes down.

James drives and gets Andy V. an easy. LBJ's 3rd assist. 79-55.

Wiz use all the clock and Butler has to force a 3...James comes down and nails a 2. C'mon Wiz, stay aggressive....79-59 Wizards. (20 point lead with 10 minutes left....not exactly comfortable)

9:36: Songaila curls off the screen bounce pass from Devin Brown made it way too easy for Butler to make that pass.....bucket, foul, but FT miss.

Comcast reports that LeBron keeps looking over at the Wiz bench...evidently he and Gilbert are having words. Really Gilbert? Have you not learned? This is only one effing game...and the Wizards haven't even won yet at that.

Coming back from the commercial, Gilbert is laughing it up, cutting up...saluting someone, probably the Cavs, on the sideline. You stay classy Gilbert Arenas.

8:15: DeShawn Stevenson nails another trey and does the Damon Jones butt slap. Jake just commented on the thread. Soulja boy is indeed in the house . You think Soulja Boy will get on that heroin in a couple years like B.G. did? I give 5-1 odds on yes. (funny thing...BG is about a 1000% better rapper than Soulja Boy)

7:39: Stevenson gets a steal, comes down....LeBron doesn't feel like following him off a screen. The Lock Smith hits another trey. He dances up the court, whatever......I'm beginning to despise DeShawn Stevenson. 89-61 Wizards.

7:11: LeBron goes to sit, probably for the rest of the game. Overrated chants start again. I'm sorry, but we are effed. Doesn't anyone know this franchise is cursed and that the Cavs are going to win the next two? (of course, by saying this, I'm hoping I negate a curse....oh shit...did I just reverse it? aw screw it.)

6:50: Caron drives and hits a crazy shot to get a foul. 30 point lead.

The more the Wizards talk trash, the more I do not give a crap about this win. Am I beginning to sound like a grumpy old man? Should I be happier? I'll remind everyone that this is just one game.

There's still 6 minutes left and this game can't be over soon enough. Never thought I'd say that up 30 with 6 minutes left.

6:07: Stevenson and Butler go out for the game...Stevenson is the best "at home up 20" player with a ever.

5:54: How insulting would it be if Mike Brown inserted Damon Jones right now? .....well speak of the devil!

5:15: Mason hits the screen with a cross over...buckets. Largest lead of either team in series. 32 points.

Damn Mase-On (A trey ball, 16 points).....what can I say? I called it. Then again, pretty much everyone had a good game. Go me.

And it's ice pack city on the Wizards bench.

Fratello says that Mike Brown is steaming on the Cavs bench...concurrently on Comcast, Mike brings his little green glasses cleaner out and starts working them thangs.

Uh oh...Varejao comes in with 4:17 left....on my god...he's got a hatchet in his hands!!! Look out Wizards.

Wiz get a steal. Andray Blatche gets a dunk. 104-65.

3:20: Nick Young fails to get his with a three miss.

The ghost of Billy Thomas is in the game.

2:38: Nick Young makes a strong drive....holds the ball low where the defender can get it...strip poker, Cavs steal.

2:13: Damon Jones misses a 3...I almost wanted him to make it to see what he does. Cavs get the board and he ends up missing another. Foooo-GAZI!

1:19: Mason Junior ball....Pecherov open in corner and ready to shoot. Mase holds his hand rookie....Mase- ON! Deucer for his 18th point. 106-69.

Wiz steal...Pecherov all the way down the court...and attempts a goofy layup. Sorry was Lois' fault.

0:47: Damon Jones misses another...damn.

0:13: Devin Brown hits a three....are you shitting me? Brown fouls Andray Blatche with 12 seconds left and down 36. Can the Wiz use that as motivation for the next game?

Game over flip.

You know Mike Brown is full of it.....he says that the Verizon Center crowd is "one of the best in the league if not the best in the league" - what...did you get that quote from some sort of Coaching Quotes in A Loss Handbook?

Turning was a great crowd for this night. It was a great win. Now the Wizards need to play the next game like this one never happened.

Stay Hungry DC.