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Archive for January, 2011

All the way back

Nate Lubick reacts with jubilation after his dunk put the Hoyas on top by 3 with under a minute left in a game Georgetown would eventually win 69-66 against our old rivals Villanova.

Georgetown has taken the shambles of their 1-4 start and turned it into something special, at least for the time being.  Today, following a memorable performance from Austin Freeman, the Hoyas took control of a tight game Villanova late in the 1st half and never relinquished the lead.  This was all on the road against what many people were beginning to think was one of the best teams in the Big East.

To be honest, Freeman was not alone.  Julian Vaughn played an excellent game.  He rotated very well on defense, hit some big shots and calmly sank one big freethrow after another.  If this were a hockey game, Freeman would have clearly gotten the 1st star, but Vaughn would have been the 2nd star.  3rd star would go to Nate Lubick who also played tough on both ends of the floor although he distinguished himself taking the basketball to the rack hard on offense.

The stats show that Georgetown won today because they hit their freethrows and played good defense, contesting most shots and not allowing  the Wildcats many offensive rebounds.   These things are true, but the Hoyas also won because Freeman hit some big, big shots.  His drive and offensive rebound with the Hoyas only up one point after ‘Nova had cut our 8 point lead to 1.  Then he hit a fadeaway jumper with the shot-clock nearing zero which was HUGE!.  Then Freeman, trapped at midcourt found Lupick under the basket who dunked and celebrated the win appropriately (pictured above).

Jason Clark was steady and Chris Wright made sure that we did not giveaway too much on the offensive end.  Truth be told, we had more turnovers than Villanova and had some chances to put the game away in the 2nd half.   At one point, with G’town up 62-53, ESPN decided to take us to a live look-in on UConn and Louisville which ended with nothing happening and the game going to OT.  In 40 seconds, the Wildcats cut our 8 point lead to 1 and chaos had broken loose.  Then Freeman showed why he is probably the best player in the Big East right now.

A lot of people counted Georgetown out when they were 1-4, but they was no panic among these players.  A now very potent Louisville awaits us this Monday night at home and then a trip to the now flailing Orange.  Who knows what will happen?  With our 4th victory in a row, we are still in the middle of the pack in the Big East with an opportunity to move among the top 4 teams.  It won’t be easy, but with today’s victory, Georgetown continues to show that we can compete big time on the road.  Today was our 3rd road victory against a ranked team so far this year.

By the way, everyone always talks about how amazing a coach Jay Wright is at ‘Nova, but if memory serves me correct, JTIII has won something like 7 of the last 8 games against our hated rivals from Philly.

Double vision: The Wizards lost a game they could have won last night and lost a game tonight everyone knew they would lose.  My degenerate- gambler brother-in-law, who is a Wiz fan, said last night while we were watching the Wiz and Thunder battle in OT, that the sure lock of the night for tonight would be the Wiz to lose tonight against Memphis because if we won last night, we won be so emotionally overcome with joy that we would not be able to focus and if we lost, which we did, we would not have anything in our hearts to battle the Grizzlies.

Trevor Booker continues to show while he was one of the recent good picks this organization has made.  He played strong last night and if he had taken a shot instead of passing it up to give John Wall a shot to heave up a 3-pointer that wasn’t even close, we may be talking today about how the Wiz won a road game under highly improbable circumstances.

Nick Young scored a lot, but he also shot a lot and did not look comfortable having the ball in his hands with time running out, a role occupied by Agent Zero for so many years here.

If Booker continues to improve, I wonder if he could begin starting over Blatche.  Maybe seeing a rookie who is in great physical shape and plays hard every night would light a fire under Blatche’s ass and get him to start playing hard, like he did against the Celtics last Saturday night, all night and not just 4 out of 10 times.

The Wizards’ best chance to end the road losing streak will come against Cleveland or Philly as we get dangerously close to 29.  Dallas and New Orleans will beat us.

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Thundersnow

So first I got the shingles.  Then, just when I was looking forward to an evening of relaxing entertainment watching my Hoyas and Caps play while a light, fluffy beautiful winter-snow feathered my Takoma Park backyard, I heard thunder.  Then I looked outside the window and I saw lightening.  Then our lights flashed on and off and then…..darkness.

So, all I could see was my Hoyas build a 5 point lead against St. John’s within the 1st 10 minutes of the 1st half.  After that, I could not see my Hoyas dominate the Johnnies and I could see my Caps on Tivo, from all accounts play very well, but ultimately lose to Atlanta.

So maybe after all, it’s not so bad that I couldn’t see the Caps because boy did that sound like a frustrating game.  The Caps defense and PK continue to be very strong; we are 7th in goals allowed and 2nd on the PK.  After 51 games, that is not a fluke.  We are a now a good defensive team and have a very strong PK.  (I will call it a great PK when I see it perform at such a high level in the playoffs).  What we lack is a PP.

In my opinion , recently all four lines have bought into the idea of establishing the forecheck, winning the physical battles for loose pucks and crashing the net.  We have seen throughout the season at different times consistent contributions from the 1st, 3rd and 4th lines.  the reason our 2nd line has lacked since the  Caps made a switch to this more conservative, traditional kind of offense is that Matthieu Perreault, despite his efforts, cannot win enough pucks behind the net and along the boards to create a consistent cycle from the 2nd line.  This is why the worst kept secret in hockey is that the Caps need a 2nd line center.  I’m not so sure that we are going to see some sort of big trade deadline acquisition though to fill this need since I think that GMGM sees Johannson as our 2nd line center.  He is improving quickly on the 3rd line and the combination of him, Hendricks and Beagle has been creating consistent scoring chances.

Anyway, in regards to the PP, I don’t see us adopting the same approach.  I don’t see the intensity to win pucks behind the net and the overall puck retrieval on the PP is lacking.  It’s like when we are 5-on-5, we are a grinding team and when we get on the PP, it’s almost like the guys say to themselves, “Ok, let’s go crazy”.

The signing of Alexander either means that the Caps are hoping that he can be the answer to the 2nd line scoring drought and the problems on the PP or that we are going to trade him and his new 1-year deal to someone for a 2nd line center, maybe even Ottawa who is pretty strong down the middle.  We shall see.  I’m still not convinced the Caps are in love with Semin and since there is not a no-trade clause in the deal, I still wouldn’t be surprised to see the Caps move him.

All the same, 5th place in the East is not where we want to be.  And it will be interesting to see if  this team can overtake Tampa who is playing consistent, defensive hockey for the time being.

Double vision: The Hoyas convincing victory over St. John’s which I was not able to see was reassuring.  It lets me know that this team

Hollis Thompson slams down 2 of his 15 points in Georgetown's 77-52 drubbing of the hates Johnnies from New York. I look at this picture and can only dream about what it must have been like to witness us enact such sweet revenge against an old foe. Unfortunately, I joined many of the Hoya faithful whose voyeurism was dashed by the blackness brought on by the shocking arrival of thundersnow on the DMV.

is mentally back together. We have strung together three solid performances in a row and have won 3 games we should have won, which is not something Georgetown has consistently done in the past.

While we can breathe a sigh of relief that we are back at .500, our season’s destiny lies in our next games.  On paper, there are 4 games we should win, including home games against Providence, Marquette and Cincinnati and a road games against South Florida.  In addition however, we have road games at ‘Nova, Syracuse and UConn and home games against Louisville and Syracuse.  A .500 record in the Big East with the kind of RPI and big-time early season victories we had will get us in the tournament, but if we are to be a 4th seed or higher, you would have to think that we are going to have to win the 4 we should and then win at least 2 of the toughies and then have a good Big East tournament.

It’s hard to say what will happen as this season could still be something special for the boys from the hilltop.  At the same time, the next 10 games could lead to another frustrating spiral of inconsistency that will see the DC3 leave another among a recent legacy of Hoya ‘what ifs’?

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A little too little

1 goal was not enough for the Caps tonight.  After we took the 1-0 lead, the Caps seemed content to play defense for the rest of the game and came pretty close to pulling off a shutout, all things considered.  But, you can’t play with fire like that.  New York got a lucky, questionable goal at best and was able to turn that into two points when they beat Holtby in the shootout.  The poor dude looked great for the last three games, but did look a little lost in the shootout.

Ovechkin played well tonight as did Hendricks and Beagle.  Johannson continues to show why he is the 2nd lineman of the future with his great offensive instincts and superb passing.  Perreault was feisty and Laich battled but it all seemed like nothing but a lot of sound and fury for much of the game.  We came out strong right at the beginning of the 3rd period, but then went into a shell.  I like the new Caps, the defensive Caps, but we can’t just get 1 goal and expect it to last against a good team like New York.

It looks like this is going to be a dog fight with Tampa Bay down to the end and it sure would be nice to get the 2nd or 3rd seed.  Tonight was an opportunity lost.

Double vision: The most entertaining part of the Wizards game tonight came in the 2nd quarter when our bench, led by Mustafa Shakur, whittled down a 13 point deficit and finished the half tied with the Knicks.  Throughout the 2nd half, the Wizards seemed to have lead in their feet on defense and no one in the middle seemed to want to man up against Stoudemire.  We fought to keep it close, but it just seemed to keep on slipping away.

Blatche followed his great game against Boston with an awful game tonight.  He was non-nonchalant from the outset and really did not want to play physical basketball.  Wall had a strong game and is learning to let the game come to him more and more.   Although, does it not seem that 9 times out of 10, when he is leading the fastbreak, Wall puts his head down and tries to draw contact.  It’s a good thing he’s a good free-throw shooter, but still, he’s becoming a bit predictable.

Nick Young was good in streaks, but he also was a bit nonchalant.  I was most impressed with Serpahin, who has some real good instincts around the basket and collecting rebounds, and Trevor Booker who is a much more skilled and athletic version of Etan Thomas.  Booker could become a real good player in this league.  He gets to the basket quickly, has agility in the air and never seems out of control.   I like his game a lot.

Trying to finds the positives in yet another road loss is hard though and the Wizards, unless they pull some sort of strange upset, will be coming uncomfortably close to tying a rather ignominious feat in the modern NBA.

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On Tuesday,  I was diagnosed with the shingles and man has it taken a lot out of me.  As a result, the blog has been oddly quiet.

Matt Hendricks slips the puck past Jean-Sebastien Giguere to give the Caps some insurance in their 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada.

Let’s catch up with the Caps.  Since we last left them, they have won two road games against bad teams.  The one thing you have to like about the victories as a Caps fan is that the Islanders and Maple Leafs, while  both showing signs of life at different times of the game, never really had a real shot had winning.  The Caps came out with energy from the beginning of both games and played complete games.

It also was nice to see our top line start scoring again. Combined, during the three game road trip, the top line of Chimera, Ovie and Nicky scored 6 of our teams 8 goals.  And all the goals were not pretty, but came from hustle, crashing the net, fighting for loose pucks and generally mucking things up.

In last night’s game, Ovie not only had a hat-trick, but more importantly, he played a complete game, blocking shots, fighting for pucks against the boards, back-checking effectively and overall being what a captain should be:  leading by example.

Chimera has been a nice addition to the top line and while he may not like to camp out in front of the goal as much as Knuble, his speed opens up a lot of things for Nicky and Ovie.

Much has been said about Matt Hendricks this year, but what an awesome acquisition he has become.  He is the kind of player the Caps have been looking for.   While his breakaway last night was thing of beauty, his overall play has been excellent and has added something substantial to an already strong group of tough guys and grinders in Boyd Gordon, Steckel and Matt Bradley.

This team’s primary weakness is still on the 2nd line where the lack of a true solid center has nullified Brooks Laich’s offensive game.  True, he had the goal which started our comeback against Ottawa, but other than that, he had not been part of the recent resurgence on offense.

How awesome was Holtby in the last two games?  With only two games left before the all-star break, I’m sure that Boudreau will not sit him

Jason Chimera and Ovie team up to the give the Caps a lead they would never relinquish in their 2-1 victory over the Islanders on Thursday night.

in the next two contests and I wouldn’t be surprised if the kid keeps playing if he keeps up his recent acrobatics and amazing cool under quite  a bit of pressure.  I mean how crazy must it have been for a Canadian kid like him to get the start in Toronto on Hockey Night in Canada?  And then to make the saves he did?  Pretty awesome.

Our top defense pairing of Carlson and Alzner have again been great.  Hannan has been what we thought he could be and Shultzy and Erskine have been solid.

Overall, after our recent skid, the Caps have bounced back nicely with 7 out of a possible 8 points in the last 4 games.

 

Double vision: The Wizards lost on Wednesday night in a game against Milwaukee which seemed like a bad dream to me since I was in and out of Shingles delirium.  I can’t say much about it because the last thing  I remember is that we were ahead by two points at halftime.  Then on Friday night, the Wizards tried to beat Phoenix at the Suns game and we seemed to be out of gas by the end of the 1st period.

Then last night, in front of a crowd that was seemed to be almost 50% rooting for Boston, the Wizards beat the Celtics at their own game.  We played very good defense and didn’t turn the ball over.

"Take that you big baby!" Blatche shows some heart and real toughness all night against the Celtics in the Wizards 85-83 win over Boston.

Now, I don’t necessarily blame Wizards fans for not going since I’m not sure how many Wiz fans actually thought we were going to beat Boston.  While I do feel some shame that there were so many Boston fans there, I am happy that the Wizards fans did not let the Celtics fans have their way.  After the “Bostonians” starting chanting “Let’s go Celtcis”, the Wizards fans began drowning them out and were a stronger force for the entirety of the game.

Before I discuss anything else, let me say this:  how does a professional team allow a player, fresh out of the D-League or not, to wear a jersey that seemed to be at least two sizes too big for him?  Shakur’s jersey was huge.  It looked like a XXXL when he should have been wearing a single XL.

Anyway, the Wizards played well.  Rashard Lewis played tough and solid basketball.  McGee played within himself and did his thing around the rim.  I was most impressed with Andray Blatche who clearly had a chip on his shoulder trying to man up against the league’s biggest asshole in the league in Kevin Garnett.  The sad thing is that Blatche showed how mentally and physically tough he can play if he puts this mind to it. The sad part is that he rarely plays that tough.

The Celtics smothered Wall for the most part, but as the game went on, he played in himself and helped keep the Wizards focused in crunch time.  Sometimes I think Wall gambles too much on defense and he needs to learn how to get around a screen and roll better than he does now, but overall, you have to think that the Wall is improving.

At this point in the season, I am happy to see the Wizards slowly move up in the standings.  It’s not like there is some clear #1 player in college basketball this year and the Wizards young players like Young, McGee, Blatche and to a certain extent Wall, need to learn to grow up and start playing winning basketball.  We as fans should be looking for growth not in terms of stats or team defense, but wins and in the last 10 games, the Wiz are showing life that this group of players has hope for the future.

A win tomorrow night against the Knicks in NY would go even further in proving that to all of us.

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The Capitals have been playing with fire recently.   It’s one thing to look dead and spot a bad team like Ottawa a 1-0 nothing lead at home going into the 3rd period, it’s another thing to spot the best team in hockey a 2-0 lead on the road going into the 3rd period.  While I am pleased that the Caps again showed the fire to come back from a 3rd period deficit and I am happy to see the “never say die” mentality that this team had all last year, it is becoming increasingly concerning how dead this team looks for long stretches of the game.

None of the lines looked all that good through the 1st two periods.  Boyd Gordon, Ovie and Steckel were all skating hard as were Chimera, Johannson and Perreault, but there was not sustained pressure on the Flyers as seen by the minuscule amount of shots on goal we had during the 1st two periods.  The Caps defended very well throughout the game, they just were doing too much of it.

I almost get the feeling that some of the Caps, despite what they are saying to the media and maybe even to each other, do not really like the new defensive-minded system.  When they press on offense and pinch a little more, as they did last night and on Sunday during the 3rd period against Ottawa, they seem more alive.   It’s hard to say what the scores of our games would be like if we played like that all the time, but for what it’s worth, our offensive pressure has been so good during the 3rd periods the last two games that neither Philadelphia or Ottawa was able to score on us.

I know Boudreau’ job is safe for now, but if this year does not end with a championship or a long run through the playoffs, I wonder whether  Nick Backstrom, Ovie, Brroks Laich and Johannson are really built physically or mentally long-term for this kind of hockey.

For now, we have to worry about catching Tampa, who we still trail by a point, in the Southeast division.  We have played the Flyers and Penguins tough this year and I am not one of those people that say we have no shot of beating either in the playoffs.  All 5 games we have played with those teams have been hard-fought, low-scoring affairs where in many cases, such as last night, the whistles swallowed their whistles for almost the entire game.   We have taken 4 out of 6 points from the Flyers while they have taken 5 of 6 points and if you discount the “goal” they got for winning the shootout, the total goals scored between us are 9-9 in three games.

We have one more with them to define what kind of matchup we could have with them come playoff time, but to this point, one would have to say that a potential playoff series with them in the spring, besides getting our blood boiling, would be nothing less than intense.

Double vision: The Hoyas seemed to be on cruise control last night against Seton Hall.  We took a ten point lead early in the 2nd half

Freeman hustles to pull down a loose ball in the Hoyas 80-75 victory over Seton Hall last night.

and then…..the Pirates went on a huge 19-2 run and took a 7 point lead.  Then it was kinda like the boys said, “Oh s$%#, we better start playing again”.  And play again we did.

Even though we didn’t regain the lead until the last two minutes of the game, the Hoyas were able to chip away at the Pirate lead by playing tighter defense and taking care of the ball, for the most part.  Austin Freeman led us again, but we got solid contributions from Chris Wright, Julian Vaughn and Hollis Thompson.  I was especially happy to see the latter out on the floor for extended periods of time late in the 2nd half.  The dude is an offensive weapon and needs to be out there at the end of games.

The truth of the matter though is that the Hoyas did get a little rattled when Seton Hall went on that huge run.  There was a moment when I thought I could see our body language saying “Here we go again”, but Wright and Freeman wouldn’t allow it.  It was also nice to see us hit the glass as hard as we did.  Throughout the game, Seton Hall did not get many offensive rebounds, (during the last 5 minutes, they were one and done almost each time) and our bigs were able to extend possessions by grabbing quite a few missed shots off the offensive glass.

I’m sure if I was a Seton Hall student sitting in the arena, I would be wondering “how the hell did we lose that game? It seemed like we had a 7 point lead for the entire 2nd half and a 5 point lead with 4 minutes to go.”  All that is true, but the most crucial sequence came with the Hoyas down with less than 4 minutes left.  Wright made a basket then a player for the Pirates, whose name I don’t know but who is losing hair, missed the front end of a 1-and-1.  We got the rebound and scored cutting the lead to 2.  We got another stop, scored again and the game was brand new.

To our guys credit, we did not commit any stupid fouls during the 2nd half and forced Seton Hall to hit 1-and1 shots late in the game which are much harder with a lot on the line and we benefited.  In that way, it is always easier for teams to come back in college than in the pros.

Anyway, we can take a breath while we wait and plot our revenge against St. John’s with the knowledge that a victory will pull us back to .500 in the Big East.

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“Dagger”

Young screams to the rafters as his "dagger" sinks Utah on Martin Luther King Jr. day at the Verizon Center.

9.9 times out of 10, if the Wizards commit 19 turnovers against a disciplined team like the Jazz, we will lose the game.  The .1 times when we win happens when we ourselves force the Jazz to commit 13 turnovers, convert most of those turnovers into fast-break points and play very efficient offense ourselves.  All those things happened yesterday as the Wizards beat a very good team in the Utah Jazz.  (Watching yesterday, I couldn’t help but remember the 2007 MLK game against the Jazz when Arenas sunk them with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.  After yesterday, Jerry Sloan is wondering why he has to play us all the time on this traditional matinee here in D.C.).

Lots of folks played well yesterday.  Blatche had 21 points on only 15 shots and had 11 rebounds.  Wall had 19 points on only 12 shots.  He couple that with 15 assists and 7 turnovers, not bad, but not great either.  Nick Young was again the star of the game and most efficient offensively with 25 points on only 12 shots.  Even when Utah put Raja Bell, its best defender on Young, they couldn’t really stop him for long stretches.  Young is just plain killing it right now and it’s great to see the Wizards stick with one of their talented draft picks, develop him and see our support if him blossom into someone who is a very good NBA player right now.

Javale McGee had 7 points, but snagged 11 rebounds and was a difference maker in the game with a +15.  The dunk he threw home from an excellent pass from Wall was spectacular.  I don’t often go crazy about dunks, but I had to rewind that one on the old Tivo once just to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.  (In fact, when I 1st saw it happen, I cupped my hand over my mouth and yelled out DAMN!!!!).

All of the Wizards starting 5 were + players yesterday and all of the Utah starting five were – on the afternoon.  Now games like this happen in the NBA – a bad team beats a good team that did not take the bad team seriously – but the Wizards are beginning to show growth.  We still have not won on the road and Wednesday presents yet another good opportunity to do so.  But we are not playing pitiful basketball.  This team has life, plays with energy, commits lots of mistakes, but has become a good home team which is at least a start.

Even the biggest skeptic, who wants us to lose every game and go back into the lottery, had to admit that watching us win yesterday in the way we did, with Nick Young hitting a big 3 pointer with less than a minute left after Utah had crawled back to withing 4, accompanied by Steve B. pulling out his trademark “dagger” as the hometown fans roared in approval of our young player’s heroics, would have to say that yesterday was a great day for our D.C. franchise.

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3 in a row

Chris Wright scores 2 of his 15 points helping lead Georgetown to a bounce-back 74-65 victory over Rutgers in New Jersey.

The Hoyas saved their season for now by beating a not-very-good Rutgers team yesterday.  The most important to take away from this game is the return of the DC3, Freeman, Wright and Clark, who all had excellent games especially Freeman who dominated Rutgers in the 2nd half.  He was a little passive in the 1st half again, but took over in the 2nd half when the Hoyas needed him.

The fact of the matter though is that beating Rutgers is not all that impressive.  Last year’s loss to them was the worst of the regular season and if we had not won yesterday, you could have kissed the Hoyas’ season away.

I was a little surprised that JTIII did not give Henry Sims more minutes.  It’s interesting how much time the coach give Lubick while other younger players, including Sims, Starks and Sanford ride the bench for huge chunks of the game.  Most college teams don’t go more than 7 or 8 deep regularly but Georgetown has some offensive punch off the bench which I think JTIII has to utilize more.

The Hoyas can get our season moving back in a positive direction with victories over Seton Hall and St. John’s coming up before our showdown with Villanova.   At 2-4, this team is breathing, but is not yet off life-support in terms of saving its season.

Double vision: For almost 50 minutes, the Caps looked out of sync and dead.  Up to that point, point blank shots by

Carlson celebrates his game-winning goal in the Caps 3-1 victory over Ottawa on January 16, 2011.

the likes of Ovechkin, Johannson and Hendricks were missing the net. Pretty passes and good looks were missing their mark and no matter what we seemed to do, we could not seem to penetrate what seemingly was a very weak-minded, injured and pitiful team in the Ottawa Senators.  But then Brooks Laich, having gone scoreless in over 15 games, intercepted a pass and beat Brian Elliot top shelf.

The Verizon Center exhaled a massive roar.  I screamed. My daughter cheered and clapped and all of a sudden, the Caps had life.  Then we got a power-play and unbelievably enough, we scored……..and we scored right away.   Then it seemed like the game was over and just to make sure, Jason Chimera, who also had not scored in what seems like over 25 games, also tallied to put the game away.

The Caps gave up the 1st goal in less than 2 minutes and with help of Neuvy, who made some spectacular saves, we shut the door for the rest of the game.  Playing great defense as we have been doing for the most part really helps when you can manage a few goals.  I used to think that holding our opponents to 2 goals or less would guarantee victory. These days, I think we need to reconsider that number.  That being said,  the Caps are now 19-3-3 when holding our opponents to 2 goals or less.  Despite our scoring struggles, that’s still pretty telling.

Things are not all great though.  Even though Knuble and Perreault played a little better, neither of them look that good on the ice.  The 4th line is playing well.  Beagle has been strong, but that line with Steckel and Hendricks is so much better with Bradley.

The last two games Scott Hannah finally decided to shoot the puck.  Nothing’s going in, but at least he is not constantly looking to pass the puck to the front of the net off the boards. It was a good win today, a necessary win and an opportunity for us to sleep easy tonight, but there is still a long way to go.

Triple vision: The Wizards beat another bad team, but hell, since we are also a bad team, we’ll take any win we can get.  Nick Young

Nick Young slams home 2 of his 29 points in the Wizards 98-95 victory over Toronto last night at Verizon Center.

continues to be the best player on this team and Andray Blatche had a game last night where he impacted the game by rebounding and playing defense. Aside from the big bucket he made to give us a 92-86 lead with a little over two minutes left, he did not have a good game, but I hope he is beginning to realize that with his height and length, he can do a lot of little things to help us win.

In his post-game victory interview, Nick Young mentioned the playoffs and everyone at the Comcast post-game show tried to make it seem like he was not seriously talking about the playoffs, but just talking about improvement.  Even though it’s crazy and probably stupid to talk about the playoffs, why not?  This team should be talking about trying to go on a run.  If they win 5 out of 7, they will be only 2 or 2.5 games back.  God forbid, they win 5 in a row, they would probably be in 8th place.  Anyway, they are not truly pitiful, maybe only a little pathetic, but if Wall and Young continue to grow together and Blatche and McGee continue to learn how to be 7 footers, there could be some good things coming down the road.

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