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Wizards Beat Buzzers, Buzzers Don't Beat Back

The foreshadowing was almost too much. Gilbert hits a buzzer-beater on Monday. I write a brief homage to the buzzer-beater. Tuesday, we talk to the rest of Team Wiz about double-teaming Gilbert at the end of games, about getting ready to take the last shot, about buzzer-beaters in general. Caron Butler speaks the most extensively on the subject. He says Gil is so hot, it wouldn't matter if he got double-teamed. He says he has as many buzzer-beaters in his career as Gilbert has this season. He says he rubs Gil, physically touches him, to try to get some of the swag to rub off.

"Everybody usually tries to seize the moment, but he actually does it, all the time," Caron says on Tuesday. "He's become one of the best at it."

Someone asks how many late-game plays the Wiz have that don't go through Gilbert.

The game-winner. (John McDonnell - The Post)

"None," Caron says at the time. "We've got a couple more options, but the main thing is just get the ball to him, and if he don't have a shot, if it gets to that point, then we've got other options: myself, Antawn. But for the most part, get the ball to Gilbert and let him go through his thing."

Someone asked if the other Wizards get bored in those situations, knowing the ball is going through Gil.

"I mean, he will make the extra pass if it comes to that, but when a guy's rolling like that, it's a heat check," Caron says. This means he doesn't expect to get the ball.

So now it's Wednesday night, and the Wizards are down by one with the ball in the final seconds, and I'm standing directly behind a guy holding a sign that says "Help Send Caron To Vegas," and the Knicks are sending two guys running straight at Gilbert, and so the ball flies around the perimeter and suddenly Caron is dunking for the game-winner, and he's jumping on the scorers table, and then a couple minutes later he comes flying through the tunnel, slapping everyone's hand, looking like Reader Marc upon receiving his Gilbert Arenas poster in the mail. Caron says it's the first game-winning dunk he's ever had. I ask him to compare himself to Gilbert.

"My swag been phenomenal for a long time," he says while chewing on his customary post-game straw. "I just have, like, a presence about myself that I walk around with."

He was joking. It was still funny.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 18, 2007; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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