Saturday, November 3, 2007

Wizards Lose Home Opener

Our cable TV provider is giving us a free preview of the NBA League Pass this week, so I've been afforded the opportunity to catch some out of town games that I wouldn't ordinarily see. Of course, I didn't happen to figure that one out until tonight, just as the Washington Wizards had pulled to within a point of the Orlando Magic, 76-75 in their home opener in the Verizon Center. My cousin Melinda happened to be working the game tonight, and I actually got a chance to talk to her while she was there.

The Wizards actually led 67-64 going into the fourth quarter tonight, but just completely folded in the final period, shooting only 20 percent (5-for-25) from the field in losing to the Magic 94-82... From what I saw those final six minutes or so, the Wizards kind of looked like they were VERY rushed. They were forcing shots and committing silly fouls. Most appalling though was the play of Gilbert Arenas. Quite honestly, he just didn't like himself at all out there. That guy who dropped 60 on the Lakers last year in an overtime win? M.I.A. The explosiveness he normally has just isn't there, and his outside shot looks like it's still on summer vacation. Agent Zero made only five of his 15 shots from the field tonight. His surgically repaired right knee is obviously not well. Apparently there is a fluid build-up on the knee which he is soon going to get drained.

There were a couple of bright spots for the Wizards tonight. Caron Butler had a nice night, scoring 23 points and securing nine rebounds. After turning the ball over 15 times in the WIzards first two games, he only gave it away twice tonight... Brendan Haywood scored 10 points and grabbed 16 boards for his third consecutive double-double - the first time in his career he's accomplished that feat.

Coming into the season, this Wizard team was one that was expected to contend for the Eastern Conference championship. If Agent Zero is not 100% or close to 100%, it will be very difficult for the Wizards to live up to their pre-season billing. One can only help that Gilbert will soon recover from this injury and start playing like the all-star he is!


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