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