1st Quarter Random Thoughts: Wizards came out firing with a 6-0 lead but quickly diminished after Carter hit a 3 pointer. Flip Phil Saunders called an early timeout with 9 minutes to go in the very first quarter. He was visibly upset as he did his normal Flip strut and stared down players. He had that look like, “you son of a …..” Andray Blatche continues to be the leader, and then I heard this weird sound; I come to find out its Frabacio’s hair shaking as he entered the game. Man does Oberto must hate himself right now. He wanted to go to a playoff team and he got…..the Wizards. If he’s a smart man, he’ll stick around if they let him. The Wizards did not seem like they are playing their 3rd straight game. They are playing with energy but I’ll hold judgment till the 3rd quarter. (Usually the quarter the Wizards are, “DRY.” As Kyle from TruthAboutIt.net said, “that was his first unintentional head band throw,” referring to the headband that Blatche is famously known for during games. When he thows his headband, you know he’s mad and going to score. Al Thornton and Blatche carried the Wizards in the first quarter as they both had 8 and 15 respectively. Not to mention Al Thornton had a BEAUTIFUL block on Vince Sanity. Oberto and his hair scored a basket, worth noting. End of the 1st, the Wizards surprisingly up 33-20! Can we say WOW?
2nd Quarter Random Thoughts: Livingston is looking more and more comfortable out there. Joe and I talked about how WE both think that the Wizards might bring Livingston aboard next year. Not every day you can get a 6-7 point guard. WizardsExtreme.com member Clinton Born during the chat said it best, “the wheels are starting to come off.” But I forgot to add that the Wizards are still up 37-31. They are showing the 30th millionth fan, and he got FREE SEASON TICKETS near year in 2010-2011. The NBA, where giving away free season tickets happens. JaVale McGee wasn’t having a good start; McGee came in with 8:21 to go, 3 fouls and 0 points. Hopefully he can come back strong when he gets back in. Magics came back as expected, and everyone was getting in the action including Dukes very own JJ ReDICK. (Sorry I hate Duke) Mike Miller to this day is the best unselfish shooter I’ve seen. The guy always passes, and is never selfish. At the end of half, Wizards were down 61-55, Blatche had 23 and Superman Howard had 18.
3rd Quarter Random Thoughts: Magics picked up where they left off and kept scoring every time the Wizards didn’t. Wiz Kids start playing what I call a, ‘3-4 zone.’ But seriously they are simply playing zone. I had to throw a little football twist too it. What I noticed through three quarters was that Livingston has played more minutes than Randy Foye. Wizards looked out of synch; Livingston has gotten the ball to the right players but with no result. He (Livingston) is really impressing out there Wizards went down 88-76, things were not looking good.
4th Quarter Random Thoughts: Livingston has 16 through the 4th. Blatche had 30 by the start of the final quarter. McGee got hit right in his face and no foul was called, I’m not surprised. I looked at the score board and saw that Blatche was stuck at 30 points but the next highest person was 3 people stuck at two points. If I see that dancing white guy on the screen one more time, I will personally go over there and knee him in the nads. Wizards ran out of gas and its showing in their performance tonight against the playoff bound Orlando Magics.
Andray Blatche pre gam:
Flip Saunders pre game:
Al Thornton post game (courtesy Grant Paulson and 106.7 The Fan)
WIZARDS HEAD COACH FLIP SAUNDERS On tonight’s game: “Unfortunately this game is 48 minutes long and not 12. We played well early. I thought when Orlando’s bench came in during the second quarter they changed the game. (JJ) Redick and (Brandon) Bass really hurt us a lot. Our main guys tonight at times played well together. During that stretch in the second quarter we didn’t have great bench play and were playing behind the eight-ball from that point on.”
On the current stretch of games: “There is no question that we got fatigued. It seemed at halftime we came into rest and started thinking how much we have been playing. It was like we didn’t have any juice to start the second half.”
On Shaun Livingston: “I thought (Shaun) Livingston played well tonight. I feel that he has a very high basketball I.Q. and seems to calm everyone on the floor down. He also has great size so he can back anyone down and get a shot off. He has been playing well when he has been on the floor. I expect a lot out of my point guards. I think he is a natural point guard.”
On playing well in stretches: “Even last night, we go through stretches that we play well and then we don’t make plays and our heads drop. Mistakes can suck the energy out of you. We had good energy tonight because we were making shots and playing well.” On Dwight Howard: “He has improved offensively. He is just dominating at rebounding and patrolling the paint. He’s going to be Defensive Player of the Year again. He dominates around the basket but has to prove that he can score in the block and hit free throws in pressure situations during the playoffs. The best thing he does is that he defends.”
WIZARDS GUARD SHAUN LIVINGSTON On playing well tonight: “It feels good. There are some pros and cons to it. I never feel good about performing well in a loss. I’m always one of the first guys to say I’d rather win than score points. It feels good from a personal standpoint to get the juices flowing and gain some confidence. I think I was able to get to my spot and use my height advantage. It helped that I knocked down some shots early, but those are all shots I have worked on prior to coming to Washington and in practice.”
On the upcoming road trip: “It is tough. We don’t have any time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have a young group and are still trying to feel each other out. We have to bring some energy and try to steal some wins from these playoff teams next week.”
On his 10-day contract: “Everything is a day at a time with me. I am blessed to be where I am right now. I’m playing basketball still even after my injury so I’m not trying to look ahead. I just want to focus on the next day.”
On playing with energy early on: “Really I think we are good when we get the ball moving. We got the ball moving tonight early and were able to build a lead up. I think at times we seem to be a bit predictable, which comes from us not knowing what the purpose of a play may be. But I think you get that over time and playing together more.”
WIZARDS FORWARD ANDRAY BLATCHE On the Orlando Magic: “That team was in the championship last year. They came out and did what they were supposed to do. We struggled and they capitalized on our mistakes.”
On three games in three days: “It was really tough. A lot of legs were gone. We tried to come out and knock them down from the first quarter. That’s what we tried to do. They are a great team and they bounced back, made plays and got the win.”
WIZARDS FORWARD AL THORNTON On the fatigue of playing three games in three days: “We started off strong, excited. We knew if we didn’t bring it tonight it would have gotten embarrassing. Three games back-to-back-to-back is no joke. I think we got a little tired at the end of the second half.”
On the upcoming west coast trip: “We got one day off to travel. We are playing the best teams in the West. We got to take it on as a challenge and try to get better. It’s the only thing we can do.”
On team morale: “We just try to come out and get better. It’s what we love doing. You can’t try to get down. You have to keep a positive outlook and keep on playing.”
On going west: “It’s always great to be going back to LA. It’s going to be a challenge. We are going to be up for it.”WizardsExtreme Correspondent Asad Naqvi