I'm absolutely floored by how well we played tonight. Never in a million years would I have thought we would play this well on opening night, without Antawn Jamison, with our rotation barely settled, on the road against a really, really good Dallas Mavericks team. I was excited before the season, but now, I can barely contain myself. That was such a great performance.
So many things went well, but here's what stood out.
Gilbert Arenas was aggressive, and the proof is in the pudding. 29 points, 9 assists. Gilbert Arenas is officially back.
- Andray Blatche ... I mean, he was decisive, aggressive, efficient with his dribbles, on the boards, in tune on pick and roll defense and everything. He's had a lot of big statistical games, but I haven't seen him this zeroed in in a long time, maybe ever.
- Just look how much better Randy Foye plays when he doesn't have to run the point. He can float, get free for his jumper and handle when necessary. Dallas plays a lot of small guards, so maybe this was just a good matchup for Foye, but credit Flip Saunders for realizing that and sticking with it throughout the second half.
- What impresses me the most is that the Wizards made a big second-half run with Caron Butler sitting on the bench. Who would have ever imagined that happening in the past? Frankly, who would have ever thought of Caron Butler actually staying off the floor in the fourth quarter? Again, major props to Flip Saunders for sticking with what was working.
- The Wizards played really good defense against a very, very good Dallas offense. Dirk got his, but nobody else did. They mostly kept Dallas out of the paint, contested nearly every jumper and took care of the defensive glass.
I'm out for now to enjoy this win. You all should too. That wildly exceeded my expectations.