Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"When Life Gives you Lemons you Paint that Sh*t Gold"

Thank you Atmosphere for naming your album with such a pertinent saying, I need it for this blog post! (Side note: got a BWD last Saturday, Blogging While Drunk. It was just a warning this time, but it can get you in some real trouble, like fired).

When I originally watched game 2, everything blurred together and all I remembered was that we played a terrible (insert Charles Barkley impression here) game. I didn't remember playing well at all but I couldn't put my finger on exactly why we were SO bad. I mean, I know they weren't hitting any shots, and that was part of the problem, but what else?

So I re-watched Game 2 last night, and this time, I took notes. Some examples:
  • Missed layup
  • Wide open Wally
  • Gil misses long shot with 24 on the shot clock
  • Gil bad shot
  • 2-6 FT @ 1:35 in 1st
  • Gil loses ball
  • Missed layup
  • Bad shots
  • No passing
  • Haywood ejected
There were lots of others in between, even some good ones like good rotations on D, but for pretty much the entire game, the offense was stagnant. Like. Real, real, real bad. I think for about 5 minutes in the 1st quarter we moved the ball, but after that time we simply settled for jump shots or missed easy layups. We stopped moving the ball, we stopped cutting to the basket and we stopped trying to establish any kind of position near the rim. If some of our more open looks had gone in, things would have been a little different, but they weren't, and our guys should have adjusted. Instead, Caron, Jamison and Arenas all decided they were gonna be the one to fix it. They took turns putting their head down, driving the lane and missing layups, sometimes getting a foul (but then missing the free throws). I can't put into words how much I hate seeing players with the Michael Jordan syndrome trying to take over the game by not passing, not spreading the floor, not play TEAM ball. In cases like that, EJ has been able to fix things by slowing down the offense to encourage passing, but this time, nothing worked, and then Haywood was out and the game was over. What I saw in Game 2 was a lack of ball movement, bad shot selection, ok not great D, poor free throw shooting, poor ball control and what I think may have been the worst part, a lack of cohesiveness.

This entire year, our team has played as a TEAM. They shared the ball, helped on D, and had the will to win as a team. What I saw in Game 2 was not the same Wizards team I've seen all year. Now, I know people don't want to point to Gil as the reason, and I'm certainly the last one to NOT want to see him in this series, but at this point, how is he helping? Hear me out.

He has shot poorly this series. So has Deshawn. Now I know, we ALL know, that Stevenson is a streaky shooter, but I think the fact that Stevenson is getting different minutes than he's been getting all year, his game is off. Simple as that. I think if you leave him in for his regular mintues, he starts hitting shots. Gil was unable to close in the end of Game 1 and also has a sprained wrist that affects his shooting (he finished 2-10). His turnovers are up and he's not passing when he needs to. All this considered, and I'd say Gil doesn't necessarily need to play. I'm not saying sit him out, I'm saying don't use him unless you have to. The Wizards without Arenas made it into the Playoffs, I honestly believe that we can beat the Cavs without him if we had to. But since we do have him, let's be smart. Let's beat them like we beat teams during the regular season. I don't know where it may be right to use Gil at this point, but EJ is a smart guy, and I think he could find a role.

Game 1 was a tough loss. Game 2 was an aberration. You know what they say...

When life gives you paint that sh*t gold (and dunk it in their MOTHERF#*%'N faces).

When I watch this game on TV later tonight, I want to feel the energy though the screen. I'm serious. All you people goin to the game better yell as loud as possible. Because you gotta believe...

We got this.

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