Bullets Fever

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

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wizards 117, Pacers 91: That Was Refreshing

It's true that Jermaine O'Neal was out of the lineup, but the Wizards win last night was still very impressive on all fronts. I didn't really expect Indiana to keep up with the Wizards' guards, but there were a number of other things the Wizards did well that I didn't expect at all.

For one, this was probably the Wizards' best defensive game that I can remember. Understandably, O'Neal was out, but the Wizards still held Indiana to 38 percent shooting and 4 for 19 from three-point range. Considering how poorly the Wizards usually defend the perimeter, this is an extremely encouraging sign. DeShawn Stevenson finally showed why the Wizards got him in the offseason, as he completely took Stephen Jackson out of the game. Granted, this is Stephen Jackson we're talking about, but Jackson's 5 point, 2 for 9 performance is still way below even his standards. The Pacers simply never got it going on the perimeter, and Stevenson deserves a lot of credit for that.

The other surprising development was the play of Brendan Haywood. Only two days after fighting with Etan Thomas and prompting this blogger to ask his readers for trade proposals, Haywood had easily his best game of the season with 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 24 minutes. Apparently, at least for the short term, Haywood has used that fight to motivate him to play better. As a 7 footer off the bench ,this is exactly the type of role Haywood can play when he's playing well. In past years, it felt like the team was hoping for Haywood to develop into a double-figure scorer in the post, but now that Thomas has beat him out, the focus has shifted for him. Hopefully, the adjustment will get Haywood to continue to play well.

With home games coming up against Milwaukee and New Jersey and a road game against the Knicks, the Wizards have a great chance to go into Detroit on a 4 game winning streak. At some point, you have to wonder why the Wizards play so much better at home than on the road, but it's still early and the Wizards are only a few points away from being undefeated.

In other news, Gilbert Arenas has an explanation for the robe he wore on opening night.
I was planning on doing it last year, but I just thought the way this year was going, it’s just The Takeover. I’m trying be mentioned. If I came out in that robe and had a bad game, they was gonna make fun of me. That’s how I was getting pumped for the game. I want all of this to come back on me. A lady made it for me for my birthday two years ago. I used to use it when I used to beat Chucky Atkins in dominoes. I used to come out to the gym after I’d beat him and I’d say, “I’m the king!” and I’d hold the belt. And Chucky used to die laughing from it.
Again, Arenas is at the point where he can do whatever he wants as long as it works. There's nothing he could do that would surprise me at this point.

Finally, as a final reminder, keep sending in possible Brendan Haywood trades. So far, I've gotten a lot of interesting ideas, but keep thinking for the next week and I'll decide which one I like best.

Postgame thoughts? What are your impressions from yesterday's win?

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Blogger Bill Fitzgerald said...

It's a strong win against a team that was in the playoffs last year. The more playing time for Andray Blatche, the better. Good to see DeShawn Stevenson finding his role. He'd better be careful with Jackson though; you never know when that guy might be packing heat. Wiz showed last year they can beat anybody anywhere (okay, except Miami), but they also can lose to anybody (Memphis, NOOKC, etc). Time to start proving otherwise.

1:11 PM

Anonymous Sonics Shhmonics said...

Again, thanks for your detailed posts Pradamaster.
I came home from work, turned on my lap top, and 1nce again, followed the play-by-play scrolling on my computer screen. It was the third quarter when I tuned in, and I did a double take at the score... and at Arenas's numbers.

J'accord about Haywood's impressive numbers. That was definitely the other thing that jumped off the screen. I've become a giant E.T. fan so far this year, but I was psyched to see Haywood hitting the boards and blocking shots like that. Let's hope it's not just a phase.

8:36 PM

Blogger Mini Me said...

Nice win.

7:03 AM


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