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Wiz Wuz Robbed in Cleveland

Questions and answers concerning the Wizards' four-point loss in Cleveland last night, which, stupidly, many of us watched, despite knowing deep in our hearts there was no way it wouldn't end in utter tragedy.

You're an objective journalist, right?

Yeah, for every sporting event in the world besides Cavs-Wizards.

Ok, having gotten that out of the way, how many of the four crucial calls during the final 93 seconds went in favor of the Cavaliers?

Hmmmm. Four, sir.

And how many times did TNT show a replay of the bizarre rebounding battle between Wiz all-star forward Antawn Jamison and some fluffy-haired Cavs dude that, inside the final minute of what had been an excruciatingly close game, gave Jamison six fouls and the Cavaliers their first lead in ages? The call that provided the game-winning points, and thus literally decided the game?

That would be zero.

How about the phantom foul on Caron Butler after LeBron James missed a three-pointer? The foul that moved the deficit from seven points to four with 93 seconds left, and is pictured above? How many replays of that one?

One, from a bad angle, as the amused announcers pointed out how Caron was saying he didn't make contact.

Total free-throw disparity?

Try 26 for the Cavs, and seven for the Wiz.

And in the fourth quarter?

That would be 17 for the Cavs, and three for the Wiz.

Were there any cool parts at all during the final two minutes?

Well, when Jamison fouled out on the nonsense cited above, he turned to stare at the officials after just about every step he took toward the bench. That was pretty cool.

And DeShawn Stevenson? When he didn't feel his face, and then the announcers mocked him, and then he badly missed two free throws and two open jumpers as the crowd laughed and he had to be removed from the game, what was the general feeling?

Civic shame.

And if you were to come up with the cheapest, most hackneyed, trite and juvenile way to explain your emotions following this gut-wrencher?

Well, at least I don't live in Cleveland.

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 26, 2008; 8:38 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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This bog has come the closest to understanding what it is like to be a sports fan in this area than any other coverage from the media for quite a while, but after this post I have to say...

Dan, you're officially one of us.

-DC area sports fans

//feel our pain

Posted by: sitruc | December 26, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

That the Wizards had to get jobbed on the road on Christmas Day shows real progress for this team.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | December 26, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

i felt like ralphie after decoding that ovaltine message in the bathroom....

Posted by: 3tripleiii | December 26, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The NBA should be embarrassed. TNT should be embarrassed. Lebron should be embarrassed.

I respect the Wizards for not going off in the media after the game, but I really wish they had. I wouldn't want to get fined either, but at some point, something needed to be said.

Posted by: colerwilson | December 26, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, when you are losing as bad as the Wiz, you get no respect. That is just the way it is. No one and I mean no one respects this team. I listen to Barkely and others and they feel the Wiz are a joke. Sorry to say it but it is true. That is why they were robbed last night.

Posted by: ivyleague | December 26, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

At least we don't live in Cleveland, indeed.

Posted by: empsg59 | December 26, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Dan -
you are officially a whiny no-nothing. Did you even watch the game. Don't blame the refs when your squad makes stupid fouls at the end of the game. Jamison DID commit those fouls. He DID hack Varejao, he did run over Mo Williams who WAS outside the restricted area.

The problem with the Wizards is that like a lot of NBA teams, they complain about every single call - even the obvious ones. Then they have no credibility on a close call.

Butler did run over Wallace for a charge at the end.

And BTW - don't forget that James and Ilgauskas both missed free throws that could have put Cleveland ahead a lot earlier.

Let's face it. Washington can't beat Lebron James any more than the Cavs could beat the Bulls when they had Jordan.

To blame the officials is bush league - which pretty much sums up the Wizrds play against the Cavs in LeBron era.

Posted by: LambBone | December 26, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Cleveland fan Lambbone, go post on the Cavaliers fan page, this for the Wiz fans to commiserate and they were robbed. The officiating was horrible. But, with that being said, a team has to be able to beat the officials and it didn't happen last night. So leave my team alone, we fans can talk about them but damn if we will let outsiders do so!

Posted by: ivyleague | December 26, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

It was pretty funny. Of course, a Cleveland fan writes in to insist that "Butler did run over Wallace for a charge at the end." Sure, like the Dutch ran over the Nazis in WW II.

Listen, Cleveland did not look very good. That's something to worry about when the playoffs roll around.
1) who's the defensive stopper? Don't say Ben Wallace, he's not going to guard Kobe or Paul Pierce. I don't see any Tayshaun Prince or Raja Bell on this team, do you?
2) who matches up with Duncan or Garnett?
That's what killed the Lakers last year -- Gasol is a terrific offensive player, but Garnett turns him into a stiff on defense. Wallace again? Maybe five seasons ago. Varejao has great hair. Ilgauskas is fine as long as he isn't required to move his feet (he makes Mark Eaton look mobile).
3) I like Delonte West. I feel confident that Kobe or Tony Parker won't be able to take advantage of him. Not.

I went in thinking Cleveland was ready to make a move in the finals, and now I ain't so sure.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 26, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what made me angrier: the horrible calls, or the TNT broadcast. Why yes TNT, I would love you to cover 75% of the screen with Mike Fratello's unfunny "holiday wish list" during a critical 4th quarter possession. Thanks for that. Also replays: they're so 20th century. So glad we're on the same page TNT.

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 26, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse


Who has two thumbs and is angry with TNT's game production?
I wonder which referee made each of those three calls.

Posted by: B_A_ | December 26, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

i think all of us watching the game knew exactly what was going to happen at the end.

that's ok.

the nba has always been like this, and it will continue to be like this as long as stern is in charge.

Posted by: rhbancroft | December 26, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

So has anyone seen any reports on how much extra the officials made for those bogus calls in the final minutes? Personally, I thought they deserved at least a 10K bonus for them. Great job, refs!

So I guess part of the way the Wiz starts winning is by paying off those who are fixing the games. Common Abe - pay the money already!

Posted by: ndickover | December 26, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Correct me, if I'm wrong, but aren't the 'Zards already eliminated from playoff contention? So what does it matter?

Posted by: nojunk4me | December 26, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Repeat after me Loozards: "The Cavs own the Wizards". Moan all you want about your alleged bad calls. It is just the way of the universe. Don't fight against it. Accept it and you will find peace.

Enjoy the rest of the season

Posted by: popopo | December 26, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse


Repeat after me:

"The NBA is a real sports league, not scripted entertainment like professional wrestling."

Believe it? That's why you are who you are. Enjoy the rest of the season, for what little it is worth.

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | December 26, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Dan, you're the best. I love this bog. "civic shame", I can't stop laughing.. thank you for laughter from a game that brought so much anger

Posted by: trolly_time | December 27, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the ghost of Tim Donaghy was present.

Posted by: peterrobertcasey | December 28, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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