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Wizards Questions Posed

So one day last week, I watched Antawn Jamison shoot dozens and dozens of three-pointers after practice. Hundreds, maybe. His teammates were long gone, and Wes Unseld Jr. just stood there, feeding Antawn the ball at the top of the key, and he just kept draining three-pointers. Probably made 90 percent of 'em. Some absurdly high percentage, in any case. It was a great display.

Those shots he was taking were quite similar to that open three-pointer he missed that would have sent last night's season opener into overtime. Jarvis Hayes also had an open look at a three; after the game, he said he and Jamison make those shots "nine times out of 10."

Maybe. But here's the thing: I knew it wasn't gonna work out last night. Anyone who watched last year's playoff series knew it wasn't gonna work out. Even Unsilent Majority must have know. From early in the first quarter, it was obvious the Cavs would win by two or three points, after some last-second drama or other. Every time these teams play (assuming both are trying to win), the Cavs win by two or three points, after some last-second drama or other. With 18.2 seconds left, the Wiz were down by two and had the ball. I wrote down on a scrap of paper, "lose another heartbreaker, unbelievable."

I know it was just one game, and I realize that we're just about as far away from this year's playoffs as we are from last year's playoffs, so there's plenty of time for everything to change, but to my mind last night was disastrous. That game was exactly the kind of game the Wiz need to have to improve upon last year's win total--on the road, against a team of similar strength, when it's close throughout--and they lost in the exact way you'd expect them to lose: on two drives in the final two minutes. Even the unofficial-official blog was a bit bummed out. Anyhow, the questions.

1) Does LeBron ever stop scowling? How much did Nike have to pay to edit out his scowls from those swimming pool commercials? Why is he so angry?

2) Does Hubie Brown like LeBron more than food, water, oxygen and/or hair product? I mean, we get it; he's pretty good. That's cool.

3) Speaking of incessant promotion, who exactly does Chevrolet believe to be the typical Wizards fan? Here's a hint for Chevy marketers: the typical Wizards fan is not a cowboy living in Montana. I mean, for a second I thought I was watching a Toby Keith concert, with all those "Our Country" Silverado spots about how Chevy people are so gosh darn folksy that they bleed denim. And how about the scene in which the ad says "Our Breakfast" and they show some tough guys lifting big piles of wood? I realize I live on the effete East Coast, and maybe I'm out of touch with the Heartland, but do people out there really eat wood for breakfast? Do they put syrup on it or anything?

4) Speaking of incessant promotion, I was saddened and embarassed for Domino's after watching that ad for Brooklyn-style pizza. Could they really not find any actors with actual Brooklyn accents? Who came up with the idea to feature some black Brooklynite listening to rap on a large boombox? Did that person just awaken from a 23-year hibernation? Then they tried to claim their pizza is all New Yorkish and foldable, but what they showed look like a gooey mess, even with the benefit of TV makeup. Just sad.

5) Jarvis Hayes can score the ball, huh?

6) I'm all for televised grudge matches, but Etan-Brendan isn't exactly George Allen-Jim Webb, or even Drew Bledsoe-Tony Romo. Did ESPN really need to show Etan sitting stone-faced on the bench every time Brendan scored, and vice versa? Was this just a ploy to give more face time to the ever-likeable Roger Mason?

7) So, that one-on-one interview with Gilbert? In which he described how he had slept just 90 minutes on Tuesday night because he was so anxious about the game, instead spending the night dribbling a basketball around his hotel room? And how Caron Butler then started hammering on his walls, telling him to simmer down and go to sleep? And how Gil then put on his headphones, because his teammate was bothering him with all that noise? Cool. Nah, Gil, you're not quirky.

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 2, 2006; 11:07 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Were you watching the ESPN broadcast?


Posted by: Unsilent Majority | November 2, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Hayes can score, until he misses three shots down the stretch. Eddie Jordan's two biggest coaching deficiencies, as I see them, are his terrible player rotations (why was Etan sitting out for long stretches in the first half despite putting up big numbers, why was Hayes guarding LeBron on one possession in the game's final 90 seconds, why wasn't DeShawn Stevenson, the team's best on-the-ball defender, not marking someone in the game's closing moments) and lack of motivational skills.

The only solace I take from this game is that had Gilbert played to his normal ability -- freezing up in primetime again -- the Wizards would've won easily. But wouldas, couldas and shouldas don't equal wins. The Wizards displayed better defense in longer spurts last night, but it all seemed to disappear in the last two minutes.

And one more observation: Antawn Jamison couldn't or wouldn't box out anyone, particularly Drew Gooden. What's the deal with that?

It's only one game, but as Mike Wise and you, Dan, have pointed out, it was a big one. And the performance, save for some solid defense early, was eerily reminiscent of last year's efforts.

Posted by: Colin | November 2, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Nothing like a game being shown on both ESPN and Comcast to illustrate the shamefully bad video quality that Comcast is giving us. It's time to retire the Home Team Sports era cameras guys.

Posted by: Prophet | November 2, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Good points. Eddie's rotation is crap (but i'll give him the benefit of the doubt until they play a few more games) and Comcast's video quality is far worse...I just love Buckhantz and Chenier

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | November 2, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Buckhantz is the best. I love how he went from BackBreaker to Dagger....good transition.

Posted by: AwfulAnnouncing | November 2, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Let's not neglect the "how about that?"

Posted by: Jon | November 2, 2006 9:35 PM | Report abuse

You want solid Wiz. coverage watch CSN, you want solid NBA coverage watch ESPN-AKA-All Access Wilbon!!!

The BOG is awesome on the WIZ...

Posted by: WG-DC- | November 3, 2006 2:10 AM | Report abuse

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