Wrap Up Report: Was this a home game or an away game?
Final Score: Lakers 103 Wizards 89
Of course the Wizards were suppose to play a home game. Someone forgot to tell the City of Washington and the rest of the Maryland and Northern Virginia, because it felt like another away game for the Wizards. That's how it felt like the whole game; there were so many Lakers fans that it was sickening. I am used to this as I have been to almost every home game and when it's a big team like the Lakers, it's almost a guarantee that it's an automatic away game. It was close to 60-40 in terms of percentages for the Lakers. Wizards fans should be ashamed of their selves. I guess it's the beast of the nature because when the Wizards start winning, the bandwagon fans come out the wood works.
I am starting to hate our own fans. No wonder there are so many band wagon jumpers in the DMV. True fans stick to the team no matter what.
Nick Young has added on to the way he has been playing. The guy who will never stop smiling wanted to duel with the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant. He couldn't match with the best player in the NBA today but he tried. Nick added a team high 21 points and came off the bench.
"They had more guys on me, they (Lakers) were playing more physical," says Nick as he was trying to put on his Louis Vatton shoes.
He is the Wizards 6th man off the bench, which is a great role for him. He can shoot when he has the confidence, but had no help as the 2nd most points behind him was McGee with 12.
I asked Nick about how frustrating it was, "It's tough, we battle, but they are a great team." Nick played against his idol, Kobe Bryant. What did Kobe say to Nick? "He gave me the wink, he called me young gun, teaching me the ropes, he's a tough player, players like that, and he's one of the greatest."
Gilbert had a horrible shooting night as he shot 5 of 15, 1 of 7 three pointers, "I haven't really paid attention to scoring this year." Gilbert continued on when asked about the team wanting him to score me, "right now, it is what I have to offer."
The Lakers present an issue for any NBA team, let alone the Wizards. They have two 7-footers who are very agile, athletic, and can play different positions in this Phil Jackson triangle offense. Wizards only have McGee who is raw, Armstrong, who does not have the talent to stay with them, and Yi, well; Yi is softer than the pillow I drool on at night.
Yi Jianlian, to his defense, did leave the game in the 1st quarter as he injured his knee after fouling the Mad Scientist Ron Artest. Not even sure how that is even possible but he did and looks like he won't be back for a couple of games or so.
Speaking of the Mad Scientist, he had something that most of us believe about JaVale McGee, just odd to hear it from an NBA player. Maybe not as odd that it came from Ron Artest.
"He has the potential to be a very good player, he gotta to go to school a little bit more, he gotta work on his IQ a little bit, he gotta watch more tape, i dont think he watches tape, I think he plays video games, he could possibly have Attari, he should upgrade to Playstation," later he added, "he could potentially be a force, if, he wants too, but if he wants to, he can continue to play Attari."
Wow, that just sums it right up. Out of the words of the guy who thanked his Psychyatrist after winning an NBA Championship for the first time.
Things I Saw/Heard
* Ted Leonsis sitting courtside along with Washington Redskins Cornerback Carlos Rogers and his daughter.
* Other notable "local celebrities" aka Washington Redskins that were there; Chris Samuels, Fred Davis, and DeAngelo Hall. Gary Williams was in attendance as well to watch his boy Steve Blake of the Lakers.
* They showed DeAngelo Hall on the big screen and he got nothing but got a rain of boo's. Also, they boo'd McNabb and Mike Sellers. Really Washington? It's not their fault. I mean, maybe McNabb, but that's for another blog.
* I saw a girl who was wearing a Miami Heat Jersey (Wade) and cheering for the Lakers #Fail
* Kobe Bryant missed three free throws in a row, as he was fouled at the 3-point line. Something you may not ever see again!
WHAT GILBERT WAS WEARING!?
Post Game Quotes Courtesy of The Washington Wizards PR Department
WIZARDS HEAD COACH FLIP SAUNDERS
On playing with a new starting lineup:
“Every time you lose someone, roles change. When you continue to lose people, you’re looking at a guy like [Trevor] Booker who’s an energy guy for you, but now he has to become a main guy. You’re asking for somebody that is really not ready to do that, but I thought overall as a team we competed.”
On playing shorthanded and losing Yi Jianlian in the first quarter:
“You can’t worry about things that you have no control over. At no point did I think our guys didn’t play hard and compete tonight. I think that’s something that we’ve got to build on. I told the team afterwards, they played how you want to play as a team. They share the ball tremendously; they are very unselfish in how they play; they have a killer instinct; and they do the dirty work inside.”
On Kobe Bryant’s performance:
“After [Bryant] missed those three free throws, I called Nick Young and Gilbert Arenas over and I said I just want you guys to be ready, because Kobe is the type of player who the more the challenge, the better he rises to the occasion. I know he’s going to get aggressive and he got going and just got on a roll. That’s what he does, and that’s why he’s going to go down as one of the greatest who has played the game.”
WIZARDS GUARD NICK YOUNG
On what he tries to do to help his team:
“You got to bring it every night; we’re trying to build something. I’m just trying to bring it, energy, energy-wise, scoring-wise, anything I can do for my teammates and my team.”
On seeing so many of his teammates injured:
“It’s tough, that part of the NBA, people have injuries but you hate to be one of those teams that keep having players getting injured.”
On his hot shooting start:
“I kind of got it going (early). They kind of keyed in on me in the second half, and they made the defense more tough.”
On covering Kobe Bryant:
“It’s tough, because you don’t know whether to play up, because he will try to blow by you or pump fake. When he has got it going he will pump fake, I am jumping that because he has just hit two in a row. He’s a tough player to guard. You got to keep battling though, you aren’t to go to stop Kobe Bryant and keep him at zero, because he will find a way. He has been in the league and has seen all kinds of defenses.”
WIZARDS FORWARD TREVOR BOOKER
On how he felt the big men did being shorthanded:
“I think we did a pretty good job tonight, the bigs did. That’s a game we’ll look to improve on.”
On how they defended him:
“They tried to not let me get easy baskets. I still got a couple, but they did a pretty good job of keeping me away from the basket.”
On his attitude coming out and starting in the second half:
“I just wanted to bring a lot of energy and play great defense, and take what comes to me on the offensive end.”
On guarding the big men of the Lakers:
“It’s tough especially when Bynum came into the game and they had Bynum and Gasol in there; two big bodies and I had to guard one. I just tried to keep a body on him at all times.”
WIZARDS FORWARD AL THORNTON
On Kobe Bryant’s performance:
“That’s what he does. He came down and hit pull up threes, face up threes with hands in his face and there’s pretty much nothing you can do about that.”
WIZARDS GUARD GILBERT ARENAS
On the team’s injuries:
“It’s tough, we’ve been hit by this injury bug for the last couple of years, but we’ll keep fighting and keep pulling for each other…I see something new every year. All they can do is get healthy and join the rest of the team.”
On the third quarter:
“Teams like that, they try to beat you up at the beginning of the game, and if they can’t do that they try to knock you out at the beginning of the third. That’s what good teams do and we knew that coming out... the third quarter killed us.”
LAKERS HEAD COACH PHIL JACKSON
On Bynum’s return to the lineup:
“I thought his first few minutes were good and then he tired after that…noticeable difference. He gave us something that we needed at the time. We had both Lamar and Pau with two fouls.”
On continuing to work him back into the lineup next game:
“I’ll try to work him out somewhat similar to what we did tonight, short minutes, relief minutes and see how he goes in the game. I was ready to put him back in if we needed to tonight but that was a game in which we didn’t have to push it down the end.”
On the Gasol and Odom combination:
“I thought Lamar was effective. I thought they both played very well tonight. I thought the passing was good, the interior game.”
LAKERS CENTER ANDREW BYNUM
On coming back after injury:
“It was great getting to play again. It was a big moment for me because I’ve been wanting to get back. Now that I am back I just want to help my teammates out and get back in the rotation. For a while I’m going to be coming off the bench until I get back in the swing of things. I’m happy to be back.”
LAKERS GUARD KOBE BRYANT
On the game:
“It got going for me in the third quarter. I had a good matchup in the second half overall and we were moving the ball around really well. It was good seeing Bynum back, he makes a big difference for us. We were concentrating tonight and making good decisions. We have a lot of great defenders and we executed really well.”
Pictures Courtesy of Joe Glorioso of WizardsExtreme.com