by Johnny Mann
It’s the second game of my man Gilbert ‘Two Teks’ Arenas’ suspension and apparently around here indefinite means ‘nice knowing you.’
In the last 24 hours the Wizards have pulled down the banner of Agent Zero’s mug adorning the side of the Verizon Center, removed most of his images from the team website, changed all the in game promos, and prior to tip off Antawn Jamison addressed the crowd about the picture of Arenas toting his finger pistols with the rest of the team yucking it up. He reiterated the team’s focus on character and commitment and how they want the Verizon Center to be a place for family and apologized for the lapse in judgment. No mention of names or the incident in question, it’s really like they are trying to erase him from the collective consciousness.
Off to tip-off and Vince Carter gets his first foul in literally three seconds. Foye starts for Arenas tonight and scores quickly on a jumper. Howard catches Jamison’s lay-up, which clearly hit the backboard. They stop play as if to call goaltending, but keep play going without giving the Wizards the bucket. Flip Saunders is livid and gets a tech for his trouble and is soon followed by Jamison who’s T’d up for still complaining. All this and its only 6-2 Magic. Howard hits what is turning into his patented homeless man’s version of Magic Johnson’s running hook. He will hit about 8 of these tonight. Jamison continues his art of shooting jumpers, floaters, runners, and off balance flippers in his own personal game of H-O-R-S-E. Wiz up 14-13 and take a timeout.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to a game here in DC and from the looks of it they’ve definitely upgraded their dance team and I’m not talking about choreography…. (**cough**http://www.nba.com/wizards/girls/**cough**) anyway back to the game and it seems all Vince Carter has done is shoot free throws hitting numbers 6 and 7 from the stripe. Foye is making some nice moves and hits Caron in the corner for a three and then Jamison for another looper.
I think it’s safe to say you might want to grab Randy Foye for your fantasy team if you need some points and assists. JJ Redick goes to the line and gets a rousing chorus of boos from all the Terp fans in the building. Redick from the corner for a wide open three. Really?? I’m pretty sure that’s the only sentence on this guy’s scouting report. Jameer hits a three to tie it all up ending the first 29-29.
Start of the 2nd and Flip hasn’t sat down yet. Jamison’s floaters are keeping the Wiz close but the Magic still lead by five. Pietrus stretches the gap to eight. Carter hits a J and the Magic are stroking. Well that’s until Vince gets caught up in a screen and collapses on the floor. JWill is about to trip over him before they finally call a timeout. Looks like a strained shoulder or worse. Doesn’t look like he can move his arm. He walks off the court but heads straight to the locker room and doesn’t return.
Foye rips a three after a dunk from Brandon Bass. Turnovers start to plague the game and the Wizards slowly close the gap to 5 with 45 seconds to go in the half. Jamison has been scoring from all over the floor and has 18. Butler, Foye and Haywood are also in double figures but they are getting no production from the bench.
Third quarter starts with some good ball movement as Caron hits a floater. Rashard Lewis, who has done nothing but get caught on a number of bad fouls, hits a long range J. Wiz finally tie it up but then start getting sloppy with the ball. The ball is moving well enough but now no one seems to want to shoot. Howard hits another running hook pushing the lead to 10. Haywood is actually having a really good game although it looks like he is playing terrible. Is there anyone who looks like they are playing worse than Haywood yet they are filling up the stat sheet?
The Wiz have stalled since going away from Jamison who has only scored three points since the first half. Fourth quarter begins with the Wiz down by six and looking deflated. They’re taking a lot of bad shots. Nick Young hasn’t been aggressive all game and clanks his shot over JJ. Jamison finally gets back into the flow and hits a wide-open three. Miller follows suite and now they seem to have new life. Haywood gets a put back to bring it to 1. Haywood has actually matched Howard’s production as both have 18 at this point. Foye starts coming off screens hitting short jumpers.
Lewis fouls out and then utters something to the ref and gets a tech before getting to the bench. Wizards go up by five and add two more from Caron. Caron’s got 20, 28 for Jamison and 18 for Haywood, however the bench production has been limited to about 4 rebounds, 45 tattoos, and a scraggly beard. Foye attempts to throw the game by taking about three ill-advised jumpers in a row instead of milking the clock. Flip calls a timeout and Haywood is fired up.
Howard misses the and one, and everyone is happy. They just won a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich and the Wizards go on to close out the Magic 104-97.