Bullets Fever

A blog and community website for the Washington Wizards and their fans.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The preseason keeps on rolling along...

Another day, another meaningless preseason loss for the Wizards, as they fell to the Chicago Bulls 87-86 on Tuesday. The Wiz were leading 86-81 with a minute and a half left until the Bulls put the clamps down defensively and eventually took the lead on an Andre Barrett jumper with 17 seconds left. Roger Mason missed the chance to give the Wizards the win, and the team dropped to 0-2 on the season.

This game was much less interesting and important for the Wizards, as they rested Caron Butler and played Gilbert Arenas and Antwan Jamison 14 and 15 minutes respectively. The Wizards team that was on the floor for the late-game collapse was mostly composed of deep reserves and guys that may not even make the team.

So what can we learn from this game?

-Jarvis Hayes continued his strong preseason with a solid 11 points in only 18 mintes. Ivan Carter obviously believes this is a big story, as he devoted much of his beat article today to Hayes.

-The story essentially was the same for the Bulls game as it was for the Raptors. When the first unit was in the game, the Wizards were a much better team. Once it got down to the reserves, it was a bit of a different story.

Donnell Taylor played a lot of minutes and scored 12 points, but Eddie Jordan was not too happy with his decision-making. This may become a slight problem, because I think Jordan was expecting Taylor to step in and be able to log some minutes this year as Arenas' backup. The Wizards kind of lack that pure point guard, and while Arenas, Antonio Daniels, and Taylor all have point-guard ability, none of them really are distributors. This makes you wonder whether taking Marcus Williams over Oleksey Pecherov may have been the right decision.

Andray Blatche showed more flashes of ability, but still was extremely inconsistent. He grabbed 5 rebounds on the defensive end, but shot only 2 for 9 from the field and somehow found a way to foul out. This isn't summer league, Andray. You don't get unlimited fouls. Ultimately, Blatche probably will take a while to become a real contributor this season. The Wizards should continue to bring him along slowly and hope he can make some noise late in the season.

The reserves as a whole shot 34 percent from the field against Chicago, which is not such a great sign. Mike Hall and Roger Mason struggled all game, shooting a combined 3 for 14. This is not a major concern, but one of the two will likely make the team, making their performances slightly troubling.

Enough preseason, though! I remind everyone of the 10 commandments of the preseason, decreed by Blazers Edge.

Some more Wiz news...

-Antonio Daniels hurt his ankle in practice and is listed as day-to-day. This doesn't sound too serious, but then again, Darius Songalia was also day-to-day early in camp and he's still out with the back injury. Daniels seemed to be playing really well in training camp this year, so let's hope this doesn't set him back anymore.

-The Washington Times is reporting that Peter John Ramos is "not in our plans," according to Ernie Grunfeld. This is pretty sad, actually, because PJM was the brunt of a lot of blogosphere jokes. As far as his playing ability, I trust Ernie Grunfeld, but how in the world can a 7 foot 3 guy on a team starving for physical play not make it? I guess Ramos has absolutely no basketball ability. The article also reports that James Lang is getting a real look for the third center's job, and judging from his playing time yesterday, that makes plenty of sense. Lang is smaller than Ramos, standing only 6'10,'' but he fits in better with the Wizards' scheme.

-Dan Steinberg has even more Gilbert Arenas stuff up today, with a post featuring 10 of the funniest Gilbert Arenas moments of all time. More stuff can be found at this article he linked in the entry. While I think we may be hyping up Arenas' quirkiness a little too early in the season, I loved hearing most of these stories. However, this is by far the best line.
I'm now willing to argue that our humble little market has either the best, most famous or weirdest young star in virtually every pro team sport: from Ovie (best) to Adu (most famous) to Gil and Portis (weirdest). Bloggers go to sleep happy at night with a foursome like that. Thanks, Stealth. Seriously, thanks. And thanks, Esquire.
Truer words have never been spoken. Thank you Dan for putting all our thoughts into words.

-In case you haven't noticed already, Dan and I were both linked on Deadspin today in this post.

-YaySports' Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Blog Preview is up now. Go over to see the Cavaliers fan drink the Queen James coolaid. I like Cleveland this year, but 58 wins? That's pretty bold, if you ask me. Still, I agree that Cleveland could easily be the best team in the league...until they get the Wiz in Round 2 and fall for real this time.

-While the Wizards-Bulls tilt last night may have been a close game, it was not nearly as competitive and nasty as this old clip from a couple years ago. Enjoy this brawl from the 2005 preseason.

What are your thoughts on the Bulls preseason result?

By the way, in case you were wondering, the guy in the picture up at the top is not me.

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