Bullets Fever

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

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Wizards 124, Celtics 117: I liike wiin. It's niice.

As if it needed to be proved again, Gilbert Arenas showed why you can never count him out for too long. After going 2 for 12 and scoring only 7 points against Cleveland, he eruped for 44 points on only 14 made field goals to lead the Wizards to the win in their home opener.

This is your classic Washington Wizards high-scoring victory. They were nearly unstoppable in spurts, especially during the key third-quarter run to make it a double-digit game. However, they were also sloppy at times, allowing Boston way too many open looks. The Wizards needed practically every one of the 93 points the Big 3 put up to win this one.

I didn't watch the whole game, but from what I saw, here's what I liked and didn't like.

I liiiike


-The offense: Well, duh. When I talk about the Wizards' Big 3 clicking on all cylinders, this is what I'm talking about. How often will a team have a guy who scores 44 points, another who nearly gets 30, and a third who gets 20? It speaks to the efficiency of the Big 3 that they're able to all score so many points at the same time. I realize Boston is among the worst defensive teams in basketball, but if they score 73 points combined instead of 93, that will be enough to beat most teams.

-Forced turnovers: The Wizards, for the second game in a row, forced a ton of turnovers, stealing 11 balls and converting on 23 Celtic turnovers. That proved to be the difference in the game. Obviously, this has something to do with the Wizards' gambling style, but if you can force as many turnovers as you do, it can help to disguise a terrible defensive effort.

-Antonio Daniels: I can't stress enough how important a player Daniels is. He can play either the one or the two off the bench and provides solid veteran leadership and defense. Most importantly, Daniels is dynamite instant offense. Because of his slashing and driving nature, he can be counted on for production every game. He gets to the line, doesn't turn it over, and shoots really well from the free-throw line. When the Wizards start to fall into shooting too many jumpers, Daniels is always there to save them.

I nooo liiike

-The open looks: 52 percent from the field? 48 percent from three-point range? All this to the Celtics? This is a problem. Against Cleveland, I actually think the Wizards did a good job of preventing open looks, as I feel like Cleveland (especially Larry Hughes) just hit some tough shots. Tonight, though, it didn't seem like that. There's no way Wally Szczerbiak should have 33 points on 10 of 16 shooting. The Wizards don't really have the big defensive presence necessary to completely shut down the paint (although Brendan Haywood did have 3 blocks), but they can more easily control open shots. Too often, guys were trailing their defenders off the ball, allowing the guy coming off the screen an easy jump shot. This was something that was a point of emphasis all throughout training camp, so it's even more disconcerting to see.

-Rebounding: Understandibly, the Wizards don't have the horses to pound opponents on the glass. However, you have to be able to at least hold your own on the glass to be able to kick-start your high-octane attack. If you don't have the ball, you really can't score. The Celtics should not be outrebounding the Wizards by 15 without arguably their best rebounder in Theo Ratliff. Thomas, for all of the things he does well, does not rebound particularly well on the defensive glass. He should be grabbing way more than 6 rebounds.

-The minutes: Arenas, Jamison, and Butler all played more than 38 minutes last night. If they do that every game, they're going to tire easily. Eddie Jordan needs to show more confidence in guys like Roger Mason, Andray Blatche, and Donnell Taylor in future games. If they can each provide 10 solid minutes, that means more rest for the Big 3

Overall, a win's a win, but it could have been much better.

As for Borat, it's a must see. It's pretty tasteless, but who didn't expect it to be? If you know what to expect, you should love it.

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

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3 Comments:
Anonymous Sonics Shhmonics said...

Pradamaster,
I mostly agree with your take on the game. Although, I don't think 73 combined from the Fantastic 3 will be enough to beat most other teams, if we're letting Boston—Boston—score 117 points on us.

I'm a DC-expat living in Seattle. And I just discovered your blog. Your candid write ups are important to long distance fans like me. The only way I can "watch" most games is on my lap top...meaning, I watch a written description of the play-by-play scroll by on my screen at NBA.com. So, keep the commentary coming. How does Stevenson look?

6:43 PM

 
Blogger Pradamaster said...

Hey, thanks for the compliments. It's great to see that these recaps serve a purpose.

I agree that it's concerning that Boston dropped 117 on us, but I don't think we're going to give up 117 points to everyone. In fact, we gave up only 97 to Cleveland, a better team, in Game 1. As such, I feel like 73 will do it on most nights, when the Wizards' defense is merely mediocre instead of pitiful.

As for Stevenson, like I said, I didn't watch this game, but from what I've seen, he's been about what I've expected. He's definetly pressuring his man when he has the ball, but like Arenas and Butler, he struggling to get through screens. I'm surprised that Jordan didn't put him on Pierce or LeBron the entire time. His offensive punch will come in time, but I'm surprised he hasn't been put on the opponent's best player in the first two games.

(By the way, if you watched the game, correct me if Stevenson was in fact on Pierce all the time).

I hope that answers your question. Keep reading and commenting!

9:07 PM

 
Anonymous josh said...

im not too concerned with the 117 points given up. Sczerbiak, or however its spelled, and pierce hit some great shots , but what i am concerned with is arenas' defense. He was supposed to have imroved on D, but he let sebastian telfair have a career night.

3:48 PM

 

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