Props to Andray Blatche for hitting 2 big free throws at the end of the game which basically sealed a Wizards victory and ensured that they did not let a game in which they played well pretty much from start to finish get pissed away because of bad free-throw shooting.
Brendan Haywood had an excellent defensive game and contributed tons of energy with some excellent offensive rebounding and effective play under the basket.
The Big 3 for the first time this year delivered a very strong, combined effort. Butler and Arenas took turns looking for their shots while Jamison, as he always does, scored throughout the game.
The great thing about Jamison is that he never plays outside of himself. He knows exactly what he’s good at and when to utilize different moves in his repertoire: 2, 3 dribbles while he drives strong to the basket; shooting over a defender who is playing him to drive. It’s really beautiful to watch.
Butler played a hell of a defensive game, especially in the 4th quarter. Have you ever noticed that Butler seems to be the best player on our team at hitting long range shots while somone has a hand in his face? The only problem is that he takes this kind of shot a bit too much for my liking.
Most teams play Butler to drive which is probably why he has become good at this shot. With his quickness, Butler can get past most small forwards in the NBA. He just needs to learn when to stop and pop a shot and not drive all the way to the basket because often you will see help defense slide over in his direction to try to pick up the charge. This happened last night and has been happening throughout the course of the year. Butler has the mid-range game to do this, he just needs to adapt the mentality.
It’s interesting, probably because he’s older, that most teams don’t play Jamison the same way which thus allows him to take 2 0r 3 strong dribbles to the basket and put up one of his crazy shots which so often go in.
As a Wizards fan, and one who has criticized Arenas a lot, I can’t be happier with the way he played last night: 22 points, 9 assists and 4 rebounds, 1 steal, +15 and only 1 turnover. He found a perfect balance between looking for his shot and getting the rest of the team involved. Toronto is not a very good defensive team like most teams in the NBA. Gilbert needs to attack all these teams like he did last night and further open up opportunities for Butler, Jamison and the rest of the gang.
Now, the big question is can we beat another team we should beat, at home, on the 2nd game of a back-to-back? Milwaukee will be an interesting challenge. As Walton said, Bogut is playing well and they got the kid phenom. Let’s see what we’re made of tonight. Oh yeah, as I said before, we’ve already lost games because of free-throw shooting and we’re gonna lose more if something doesn’t change.
Double vision: So the NHL decided to suspend Ovechkin. I have no problem with it as long as they start suspending folks like Mike Richards and Sidney Crosby for the same kinds of hits. Check out the Fight For Old D.C. blog for video of hits by Richards and Crosby that have gone unpunished.
I’m not gonna say, like others, that Ovechkin should change his style of play. He is the MVP of the league two years running because he is the ultimate, complete, hockey player. But OV, let me say this, we all dodged a big bullet yesterday. D.C. sports fans really need a winner, and I mean a championship and the Caps, right now, are our best shot. So please, stay healthy and bring us what you, the team and the city deserve.
We’ll miss you Saturday night against the flyboys from Philly.