The Wizards coach was hoping for a more aggressive approach from Blatche, and during the third quarter, he saw it as he was cut on the right eyebrow, drawing blood. "Flip says he wants to see blood," Blatche joked. "That means you’re working hard."
Andray Blatche led the Wizards in scoring with game-high 25-points including nine in a pivotal third quarter when the Wizards outscored the Bulls 31-16 to erase a ten-point half time deficit. In short Blatche is playing like an All-Star. "Let me tell you one thing, it was just so crazy. When all these guys (players acquired in trades) got here the chemistry was like we’ve been together since the beginning of the season," Blatche explained. "We all have one thing in mind and that’s winning. We all are working hard together competing and everything is paying off well for us." Blatche also had 11-rebounds and James Singleton, one of the newcomers Blatche referred to, pulled in a season high 12 rebounds as the Wizards won the battle of the boards 43-36 against the NBA’s best rebounding team.
"We all got together," said Andray Blatche. "JaVale [McGee], he was the one who actually said it. He said we’ve been in this situation before but we let it slide past us in Toronto. That brought more focus and guys just finished the game out." That's Blatche of the three double-doubles in four games giving credit to McGee of 2 for 4 shooting (50 percent, people) with only one turnover. Their corner of the locker room was an afterthought last month. With Blatche blowing up (another blog post coming up later on him), with McGee showing signs of discipline and control, with yet another game in which this new group has played hard and together and well, there's more evidence of what was missing before last week's trades, of what indeed was stale with the Big Three.
Forward Andray Blatche led the Wizards with a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds, and newcomers Al Thornton, James Singleton and Quinton Ross were significant contributors in Washington's third win in four games since the team parted ways with many of its core players.
On paper, they’re a bad team and have been all season. But Washington went through an extreme makeover before last week’s trade deadline. Next thing you know, they beat the Denver Nuggets by 10 on Friday. Sure, the Nuggets were a little gassed from beating the Cavaliers in Cleveland the night before, but Denver is still the second-best team in the Western Conference. On Saturday night, the Wizards almost beat the Raptors in Toronto — Washington actually led 100-91 with 5:40 left — before losing their legs down the stretch. Toronto’s not a great team, and they were without Chris Bosh, but they’re 31-24 and have won nine of their last 10 home games. Maybe it’s the Wounded Tiger Theory. Or, if you prefer, the Ewing Theory. Or maybe it’s just a fresh start for guys like Andray Blatche (a game-high 25 points plus 11 rebounds), Al Thornton (17 points, 7 rebounds), Randy Foye (16 points, 9 assists) and James Singleton (a game-high 12 boards).
Believe it or not, Flip Saunders is a relieved man. Out the door are the failed expectations of the previously constructed team. Now he can get back to what he likes to do, teaching. Watch the Wizards coach on the sidelines now. He's taking time to talk to his young players immediately after subbing them out the game. He's pointing and instructing, imploring his students to do the same with each other. It's not like Flip wasn't giving it his coaching all before, it's just that now he doesn't have to stand by while the fruits of his labor go untrusted by inflexible veterans whose play insisted they knew better.