Good Vibes After Big Win
I think we can all agree that the Wizards needed exactly what they got last night with that easy win over the Indiana Pacers. Granted, the Pacers were without Jermaine O'Neal and they were playing for the second straight night but, the Wizads still took care of business with their best game so far this season. They beat the Pacers down like the democrats "thumping" the repubs. (In the words of W)
By the way, I thought this was an interesting note: The Wiz have now played three teams that were playing the second game of a back-to-back. Boston, Orlando and Indiana each played the night or day before facing the Wiz. Just a thought.
Anyway the win was good for the Wiz, it was good for a guy like me who needed a blowout to make deadline a little more liveable after three close games and it was good for some of you faithful and passionate readers of this blog. bernard king, I was starting to get worried about you bro. Relax, it's a long, long season. Love the passion though. Keep it coming.
Last night illustrated how this team is going to have to win this season: Gilbert went off, Caron and Antawn chipped in and they made up for some terrible early transition defense by forcing a bunch of turnovers and turning them into points.
Few leftover thoughts from players/coaches following the game:
Rick Carlisle: "There weren't many positives to say about this game. We've got to be a no excuses team. Tonight, Washington thumped us. They competed harder and better and we got what we deserved.
Carlisle on Arenas, who scored an easy 40: "He's a great player. He's explosive much like Iverson. And last night (Tuesday night when Indiana beat Iverson and the Sixers) we proved we could do a job on a player like that as a team. Tonight we didn't respond. We didn't step up to the challenge and that was one of the disappointing aspects of the game."
Antawn Jamison on not coughing up that nice first half lead, something that was an issue last season: "That has definitely been one of our problems in the past. We would do a great job in the first half, but then in the third quarter we'd be up by 10 or 15 points adn the next thing you know it's a tie game."
Caron Butler on Arenas: "He is a great player and a great scorer also. It's fun to play with a guy like that who draws double teams. When he gets going like that, we get open. I've played with Kobe and Dwyane and this guy here is in that class."
Perhaps the Pacers should consider staying in a different hotel when they come to DC. They have stayed at the Ritz on 22nd and M the last two seasons and had some interesting things happen. Last night, one of the team buses was bus caught up in notorious DC rush hour traffic and didn't arrive at the arena until 6, one hour before tip off. Last year, I showed up at sports club LA, which sits adjacent to the Ritz, for an afternoon basketball run and Pacers center David Harrison was on the court, waiting to play. This was a night before an NBA game and Harrison, who was wearing a pair of New Balance running shoes, was trying to get a pick up game in.
Needless to say, he was picked but - and I swear I'm not lying here - my team beat his team in a game to 18 points. We spread 'em out and drilled a bunch of three-pointers. Small ball baby. Harrison got one more run in before an assistant coach came down, chewed him out and got him off the floor. The next night, before the game, I bumped into him in the hallway and he said: "Hey, what' s up man. Nice run." Harrison went out that night and a had a great game against the Wizards. Only in the NBA.
Funny story from yesterday's pre-game lockeroom: James Lang was lounging in his chair on the "east coast" side of the lockeroom, minding his own business when Arenas, Antonio Daniels and DeShawn Stevenson addressed his secret life as a "thief." Turns out, Lang borrowed someone's deodarant and was banned from the "west coast" side of the lockeroom, the side occupied by Arenas, Daniels and Stevenson. Arenas evicted Lang last week and Lang is not allowed on that side of the room anymore without permission.
"But what if one of the vets on that side tell me to get something, do I have to do it?" Lang asked. The moment that sentence came out of his mouth, I knew he was in trouble.
"Hell yes!" replied Arenas, Daniels, Stevenson and another west coast dweller, Calvin Booth at the same time in the same incredulous tone. Stevenson turned and gave me a look that pretty much said: "Is he crazy asking a stupid question like that?" As I started to try and interview west coast dweller Andray Blatche, Blatche turned and whispered to Booth, "Hey Cal, tell James to get you something."
"James," Booth shouted. "Can I get a gatorade?"
Blatche: "He's a vet, you better do it."
Lang, picked himself up out of the chair, walked over to the large fridge that sits in between the east and west coasts, grabbed a gatorade and rolled it over to Booth.
"Thanks," Booth said.
Arenas, while combing his hair with Jamison's brush while standing in front of Jamison's locker: "You see James, I asked Antawn if I could use his brush and he said yes. That's why I don't get fined."
Fined? Turns out, Arenas has instituted a system whereby Lang is fined $2.60 every time he goes over to the west coast without permission. Why $2.60? Stevenson wears 2, Daniels wears 6 and Arenas wears 0. I wish I was but I'm not making this stuff up.
Blatche on the hazing of Lang: "I'm just glad he's here so they leave me alone."
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