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Are the Wiz Better With Gil?


Loved the shoes (Jonathan Newton - TWP).

Seems to me there are two different versions of this question. As a viable D.C. sports enterprise, there's no question they want as many players who emerge from the locker room at odd points wearing custom-made shoes and enter games to standing ovations as possible. As Comcast SportsyNet's Chris Miller told the viewing audience last night, when Gilbert entered the game and scored seven points in 99 seconds, the arena was more electric than it had been for a Wiz game in months, although let's be honest, it wasn't close to the Caps' Red Out crowd from the previous night.

(Also, in the final 10 seconds last night, when some NBA arenas might have been going bonkers, I was trying to scan the crowd with my video camera to get scenes of delirious bonkerdom, and all I found was a bunch of young kids dancing, plus people on cell phones. And the arena still has to put images of Greg Paulus on the big screen during free throws to get people to boo.)

Anyhow, as to whether or not they're a better basketball team with Gilbert, call it an open question. Of all the players on both teams last night, Gilbert had the worst plus-minus rating (-8). When he entered the game the first time, his seven quick points were remarkable, and yet the Wiz still got outscored in that stretch. And when he entered the game for the last time, the Wiz were up nine; they then got outscored 24-14 down the stretch.

Dating back to last season--a completely unfair exercise for any number of reasons--the Wiz are now 6-12 in the last 18 games they've played with Arenas in the lineup.

Here's Caron on The Return: "Everything Gilbert do is gonna be big. He had a big entrance. He deserved it: the standing ovation. I mean, behind closed doors, you don't see how hard he worked to get back on the court and to get back out there. I mean, he was going through a lot, mentally and physically. We shared some ups and down times, and to see him back on the court, smiling and happy to be back out there, pain-free, that was a sigh of relief. So I'm happy he returned, but most importantly we need to get a win, clinch of a playoff spot and continue to get some momentum with Gilbert back."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 3, 2008; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Comments

Of course it's not fair! But if you saw the game, the potential was there. pace of play really got faster and gil was making some outlet passes i can NEVER remember him making. The fact is, a slower gil that's more keyed to making assists would be the best of both worlds, since the last time AD made a non driving layup was..well i can't even remember.

Posted by: Chinatown | April 3, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

My best friend called me from JMU just before the Sessions hit that shot asking "What is happening right now?"

We were both watching Comcast and he was referring to the fact that on the dive for the loose ball Butler hurt his wrist again when a camera showed him holding it in pain, Stevenson literally hopping off the court and then Jamison collapse when he got to the bench. To me and him, in a larger sense those things are more significant than some D-leaguer hitting a lucky shot or the +/- ratio with Gil on the court.

Why can't the Wizards get everyone healthy for one game?!?? It's the curse of le bullet once again!

Posted by: Bobby B | April 3, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The crowd sucked because it was a game against the Bucks in which Gilbert was not supposed to play.

Of course if you had been there maybe things would have been different.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | April 3, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

It's up in the air if they are a better basketball team, but there's no question they are a better franchise.

Posted by: StetSports.com | April 3, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

= better team

give gil more time to get his legs back, his D wasn't exactly great last night, but he brings energy!

what's up with this?
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3326500

Posted by: better players | April 3, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The Duke screens during opposing free-throws was the most inspired thing I've ever seen done by management at a sporting event. I booed until I was hoarse.

Posted by: MN | April 3, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes.

Last season, the Wizards were +3.3 per game with Gilbert on the court, and -10.8 per game with him off the court, by far the best +/- numbers on the team.

So, yes.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Stet's right. We pay to see Gil. We come to see Gil. The franchise is stronger for Gil being there.

It's a little unfair to ask him to be completely up to speed on Ayres' defense the first time out.

He would be a better player if he played more D more better.

But he played well last night.

And we LOVE him! Don't forget that. Gil, we LOVE you!! Come play again soon!!

Posted by: Nancy | April 3, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

When Gil was starting I used to just tune in to the last 2 minutes because I knew this team couldn't hold a lead but neither were they ever out of a game. It came down to a last second shot all the time. Without Gil the Wiz work to put away opponents before the last shot. I hate to say it because Gil is a tremendous asset in terms of fan draw (and seemingly a genuine nice person) but I don't want every game going to the wire. I'll take some boring old defense.

Posted by: DJW | April 3, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

DJW needs to take a look at last year's game log and start watching whole games.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | April 4, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

You know, I thought it was funny when I saw the Duke logo come up at the Wizards game last time I went, but throwing up a college kid's picture at every home game strikes me as slightly classless.

Posted by: KC in DC | April 4, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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