Before I start today, I’d like to pose a question to the New England area: Are y’all still mad about the Tea Party?
Boston sports massacred everything the past two weeks, with the Sox sticking a flag in the Rockies, the Patriots Tour of Destruction claiming the Redskins’ manhood, and the icing on the cake, the Celtics pistol-whipping of the Wizards at the Garden. Bill Belichick probably gave the Celtics’ halftime speech the way KG, Pierce and Allen poured it on at the end of that debacle. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins put double-digits on my Caps. But after the Celtic game, everyone was expecting some good home cooking in the Verizon Center kitchen on Saturday.
NO SOUP FOR YOU!
Hedo Turkoglu (25 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists) came into to town and threw soup in the Wizards’ face (it was probably New England Clam Chowdah!) as he pulled a Gilbert in the fourth and willed his star-spangled, Disneyfied teammates to the 94-82 win.
Before everyone goes into the “Who Can We Trade” argument that follows consecutive losses, let’s take into account that we pretty much went 0-for-horrible to start the season last year, and by February, we were the best team in the Eastern Conference. The wild card in that is that this ain’t your daddy’s Eastern Conference – everyone stepped their game up from last year except the Wiz. Usually a revolving door of personnel is a bad thing and keeps guys from gelling but everyone landed blockbuster type guys and Orlando is no exception.
This game wasn’t so much about terrible defense as it was a lid on the basket all night. I don’t know if we need Buzz Braman to come back but right now we can’t hit the broadside of a barn and the guy who’s been afflicted the worst has got to be Arenas (10 points, 6 turnovers). It makes me wonder whether or not he’s really healed up from his surgery and if he’s making it worse by playing.
Rashard Lewis (18 points, 8 rebounds) is one of the aforementioned pickups going from West to East this year and he really gives Orlando that slasher type guy to take the beating away from Jameer Nelson (17 points, 7 rebounds). He’s got the same game from Seattle, except in the Pacific Northwest, he didn’t have Baby David Robinson (17 points, 15 rebounds) underneath eating glass all night.
But it was Young Turk who came through in the clutch for O-Town, as he staved off the last Wizard’s run with some timely threes at the end to really put us away. I’d like to think we put ourselves away in this one because we can’t shoot. Can’t Shoot + Can’t Defend = Can’t Win. Can it get any clearer?
The only bright spots for us were Caron Butler (23 points) who’s becoming more consistent, Antawn Jamison (20 points) who pumped in a few threes, and the guy who’s been playing in Brendan Haywood’s body (10 points, 16 rebounds!). I don’t know if they planted the “Wes Unseld chip” in Brendan’s brain but its working. Either that or he’s using every night out as a tryout for other teams. Either way it’s great to see.
These losses hurt, but they’re worse when you’re not at full strength and we found out that O-Pec has a fracture and will be out until around Christmas. Think about it, if we had his range against Indy and Orlando, we would most def be 2-1. We’d even be able to give the Celtics a different look, but alas he’s out. So it’s roll with the punches and learn to shoot or we’ll be 0-4 after seeing the Carters (Vince and Shawn) and the rest of New Jersey’s Roc Boyz.