Bullets Fever

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

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pistons 100, Wizards 91: Wizards D Cures Ailing Pistons O in Detroit Win

For nearly four full quarters, the Wizards outplayed Detroit last night, but one 13-0 stretch in the third quarter allowed Detroit to pull away for the 9 point victory last night.

I actually thought the Wizards did a lot of things right yesterday. They shot fairly well from two-point range, held Detroit to 43 percent shooting, and won the rebound battle. But two things really went wrong yesterday that cost the Wizards the game.

First, Detroit was an obscene 8 of 16 from three point range. Tayshaun Price and Rasheed Wallace on their own shot 6 of 9. Prince hit two of those threes during that decisive 13-0 third quarter run. I said the Wizards would struggle to defend Richard Hamilton on the perimeter (and they did), but I expected a better effort defending Tayshaun Prince.

The other thing was that the Wizards shot only 21 free throws. For a team that jacks up as many shots as Washington, they need to get to the line more. Arenas was a main culprit, as he only shot 6 free throws on the night. Without Ben Wallace in the middle, the Wizards have no real excuse to not attack the rim. This is not a characteristic problem, but when you combine it with the inability to defend the perimeter, it becomes a much greater problem.

One of these days, I'm going to devote a post to Antonio Daniels. He's arguably the teams most unsung hero, and it feels like he helps bring the Wizards back from a fourth-quarter deficit every night. He did it again tonight with some awesome drives to the basket, especially in the fourth. If only the Wizards had not created a deficit for themselves.

Overall, it's disappointing to lose, but the Wizards did play better. Detroit needed this one badly and it showed. With Cleveland playing really well right now, the Wizards need to match the desire Detroit had last night in tonight's home contest. Both teams are on a back-to-back, so that cannot be an excuse.

Postgame thoughts? What did you take away from yesterday's loss?

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