Wizards-Bulls after thoughts and stuff...
The Wizards come out of a 1 game winning streak if you can call it that. Coming off a New Orleans win, they hoped to carry the momentum back home to Washington as they played their “rivals” the Chicago Bulls. I was gracious enough to have with us, as I watched the game with XM/Serius Satellite radio’s very own Carmella Bella. The first thing she said to me was, “this is an NBA game?” This brought me to realize that, she forgot that she was in Washington DC! I mean New Jersey must be worst, right? But I wouldn’t know, apparently not. Crowd is always late to a Washington game, Carmella had no idea but any DC event, expect a late crowd, we WILL be late for sure.
It got a little bit busier as the crowd was starting to settle in. Crowd was pumped up as Comcast SportsNet and the Washington Wizards made it the Phil Chenier Night. (Not really the official title, I just called it that since it sounded better) JaVale McGee was hustling and scoring at the same time. Yet he is raw but has the skills set to become something very special in this league. Wizards had some hustle in them as they clawed their way back being down most of the first half but were not far away, and were down 53-50. Wizards went up in the 3rd quarter as the new Flip Saunders was slowly taking shape. You could see that this offense benefits the likes of Andray Blatche and Mike Miller, who came off a great game against the Hornets. It was interesting to see the match up between point guards Derrick Rose and Shaun Livingston.
Derrick Rose had the quickness on Livingston but Livingston had the height advantage. Livingston, for his lack of quickness, his arm length and height makes up for whatever difference there is. But Rose was not to be denied but worked hard for every basket except for a couple. Livingston explains in the video below courtesy of Comcast SportsNet Washington, as he described Derrick Rose as one of the fastest point guards hes ever played against. Post game with Flip Saunders,(video below) he goes into how JaVale plays as if he was very anxious which and he gets very impatient just like the rest of the Wizards on offense.
Wizards shot a measly 37.6% with Blatche leading all scorers and rebounders with 18 points and 13 rebounds, his 14th double-double this year. 4th quarter was an example of having one of the Wizards step up in the clutch. This is where we miss Gilbert Arenas. Gilberts clutch shooting and his ability to score anywhere on the court is what the Wizards are lacking. I know we can’t dwell on the past but Gilbert is exactly what we need again. The Wizards lost 9 straight home games, which is a franchise record. Agent 6 needs to come back next year and act like Agent 0 then possibly we have ourselves a great season. Only one can hope!
Wizards Post Game Quotes
WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHICAGO BULLS
APRIL 2, 2010
CHICAGO 95, WASHINGTON 87
WIZARDS HEAD COACH FLIP SAUNDERS On tonight’s game: “We played well at times but we just didn’t finish the game. It’s frustrating when you lose games like this. It’s frustrating when your guys play so well and don’t have anything to show for it. Right now, like I told the team we are more worried about the process than we are about the outcome is going to be.”
More on tonight’s game: “Fourth quarter, we just ran out of gas. Only four shots taken in the fourth quarter and we didn’t get any flow offensively. We didn’t make easy plays and it was the same thing in Houston. We tried to do too many things on our own rather than making plays for other people.”
On Shaun Livingston: “Here is a guy who hasn’t played in three years. He’s trying but he has a lot of things to worry about too. He has done a lot of good things for us and had a good game in the first half. I think he got tired in the course of the game trying to chase Derrick around.”
WIZARDS CENTER JAVALE MCGEE On tonight’s game: “I was just trying to go out there and play hard, get some rebounds and be more aggressive. Derrick Rose is a very fast player and extremely athletic so he can go in and get fouled. We tried to contain him and all his shots.”
WIZARDS GUARD SHAUN LIVINGSTON On tonight’s game: “I try to base my performance on wins. A point guard in basketball is like a quarterback in football. It would have been nice to get this one, but my confidence is growing.”
On Derrick Rose: “He is who he is. He’s definitely a world class athlete. He has definitely earned everything he has received. There is definitely talent coming out of Illinois. He was freshman when I was senior. He grew up watching me take those titles, and then he got one.”
On guarding Derrick Rose: “It definitely wears you down. Part of his athleticism is that he can come at you full speed the whole game. By the fourth quarter, you have to have some endurance to stay on him.”
On his teammates: “They are learning my game. It’s part of playing with guys and getting chemistry. There are only seven games left in the season. I’ve only been here a month out of the whole season. It’s still a learning process.”
On the turnover of the team: “It’s tough. From a point guard’s perspective, you kind of vibe with guys when you play with them. That’s just part of me being vocal in directing guys.”
On the Bulls: “They are trying to make the playoffs. Nothing is going to be easy. That is the intensity we want to bring. Even though we are not in the playoffs, we still want it.”
BULLS HEAD COACH VINNY DEL NEGRO On tonight’s game: “We would not have won the game without the help of Luol. I think he gave us some good minutes in both halves. Our defense picked up in the second half. We missed some easy shots in the first half off of the break but Washington kept playing hard. (Andray) Blatche did a tough cover on (Brad) Miller. Our guys got some stops in the fourth quarter when we needed to. Overall I didn’t think our rhythm was good as a team. We had a lot of guys in and out of the line-up that have not been playing together for a while. We tried to get the matchups right and the guys that were making plays at both ends we tend to go after. We try to get the best matchups in spite of all of the different things that we have to juggle with our injury situation.”
On the fourth quarter: “I thought that Taj from the jump ball was very effective on the glass for us, and he hit a big shot from the right side. I thought that Hakim came in and gave us some good quality minutes. It was a nice team effort but it wasn’t our best basketball. We found a way to win and we got the defensive stops in the second half that we needed.”
On team injuries: “We don’t have time for an adjustment period. Guys are going to have to battle through it and we will see who is healthy and those are the guys that will be out there. We are going to need everybody and who ever can go will be out there. We will see how it is all going to come together every day.”
BULLS GUARD DERRICK ROSE On the Wizards: “I reminded everybody that we lost to them last time we came here and that we have to come out and play. I know they’re rebuilding but they can come out here and still win games. We tried to take them out early in the game and try to control the game.”
On alley-oop from Joakim Noah: “I was just thinking – no bounce pass. At least throw it up so I can attempt to get it but (Noah) threw a good pass. I was surprised.”
On the final stretch of the season: “I try to remind everybody that we are going to be in the playoffs, we just have to continue to win. Even though the task is going to be hard, we’re still going to fight, come together, and try to put some games together.”
BULLS FORWARD TAJ GIBSON On guarding Andray Blatche: “This whole second half (of the season), I’ve been guarding all of the top players, just trying to make them work.”
BULLS CENTER JOAKIM NOAH On players returning from injury: “Yes, there are adjustments we have to go through, but there’s no time for it. There’s no time for excuses. We have to go out there and play to the best of our ability and focus on what we have to do.”
On the Wizards: “We’ve lost to them before. This is the NBA. You have to come ready to play every night. Guys are very gifted and very good.”
Flip Saunders Post Game:
- Correspondent of WizardsExtreme.com, Asad