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Another buzzer beater

The Wizards are gradually putting opposing coaches into the basketball equivalent of a vice. Choose not to double team Gilbert Arenas at the end of a game and you lose. Do double team him and you still lose, except instead of losing on a long three-pointer, you might lose on an easy dunk. By an All Star candidate.

Isiah Thomas was squeezed into the vice tonight and he made the right choice. He doubled Gilbert Arenas. He lost because Arenas, Antawn Jamison, DeShawn Stevenson and Butler all made the perfect basketball play for that situation. It was beautiful stuff and is precisely how this team will have to execute in close games throughout the rest of the season and in the playoffs. Teams are going to load up on Arenas and force him to make the right decisions. While he walks that tightrope between aggression and smart play, his teammates have to make big shots.

Caron: "I just tried to find that hole right there under the basket and if DeShawn would have shot it, I would've had a chance at the rebound with enough time to put it back up. But he drove and then saw, I think it was Jared, cheat his way and he dropped it right to me. When I dunked it, I got fouled but I just started running back on D. Next thing I knew, I was on the scorer's table doing my dance."

Gilbert: "I knew the double was coming. They were doing it all night. Once I passed it to Antawn, he just made the play and we won."

More Caron, when asked about his "swag": "My swag has been phenominal for years. Can't you see this chip on my shoulder?"

DeShawn: "When I caught it, I was going to shoot it. I almost shot it. But then I saw the lane open up and I drove. Then, I was going to take the layup but I saw someone come over real quck and I just dropped it to Caron. Game time."

While I was in the scrum interviewing a swagalicious Caron Butler, one Eddie Jordan slid up behind me and said this in my ear: "Ask him: Do good things happen when you pass the ball?"
I asked.
Caron saw Eddie: "Oh yeah. Yes they do."

This was not a pretty win. Gilbert didn't have a great night and the team wasn't flowing until it was almost too late. That said, it was a game this team couldn't lose. You have to beat the Knicks at home. Big game at Orlando Friday because first place will be on the line and this team has lost four straight on the road.

By Ivan Carter  |  January 18, 2007; 12:55 AM ET
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Next: In O-town with first place on the line

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