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Dallas Mavericks 123, Washington Wizards 118

Quick thoughts:

  • Gilbert Arenas played essentially the equivalent of two full quarters.  In the first quarter, he refused to shoot or make plays.  In the third quarter, all he did was basically made plays.  Six for six for 12 points in the third is pretty damn good.  He did have three turnovers, but it's nice to know he still has that burst.  That's probably the most important thing to take away from tonight.  Hopefully, he eventually puts it all together and becomes a hybrid of the first-quarter Gilbert and the third-quarter Gilbert.
  • Caron Butler looked great on offense early on, but gambled a ton on defense.  Still, he showed a lot of aggressiveness going to the basket, which is important.
  • Antawn Jamison was Antawn Jamison. 
  • The only other guy that I thought played well tonight was Nick Young.  Yes, he's still getting flattened on screens off the ball, and yes, he had some Nick-on-five moments in the first half.  But after his first stint, he played very under control on the offensive end, getting his shot off in rhythm and without too many dribbles.  I also thought that, once he was matched up on the ball, he did a pretty good job of moving his feet
  • Otherwise, yikes.  Andray Blatche looked particularly listless, forgetting to box out and zipping three or four passes past his intended target out of bounds. 
  • The defense looked pretty pitiful all night.  The Wizards couldn't stop dribble penetration, gambled for steals, and once again struggled on the glass.  Shawn Marion also got way too many transition looks to get 26 points on 11-15 shooting.  Caron Butler, the lockdown defender, will likely need some more fine tuning
  • The Wizards went to a matchup zone for a bit in the fourth quarter, and while it confused the Mavericks initially, they eventually figured it out.  The Wizards also couldn't rebound off it, which tends to happen when you play a zone.  Of course, the low basketball IQ of Blatche and JaVale McGee might have had something to do with that.
  • Brendan Haywood was held out of the game after hurting his ankle in the first half.  I doubt it's serious, but I'll find out.
  • Mike James played and looked like Mike James. 
  • JaVale McGee took way too many shots today.  There was one moment where he pulled a Dream Shake move on Erick Dampier from 20 feet away and somehow made the shot, but Sam Cassell was screaming at him coming off the court in the ensuing timeout. 

In the end, Kyle put it best here.

Somebody get the Wizards some LA Looks ...or whatever ... cause they need to gel, fast.