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LeBron Travels, Wizards Hold On, 80-77

When Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott walked into his post-game press conference, he look flushed. His cheeks were red, his mood was glum, and his tie was undone. Tapscott approached the podium as if he was about to discuss the Wizards' 26th loss of the season instead of their seventh win.

The Wizards beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 80-77 on Sunday - a quality win against one of the elite teams in the NBA - but given how the Wizards gave away a 12-point lead in the final 6 ½ minutes, and their inability to close all season, it was easy to understand his anguish.

"These are tiring. We've been working hard. We want some reward for it," Tapscott said before further explaining his exhausted look. "I got a little flu, so that's probably it, too."

But the win had to make him feel a little better about the direction of the team, which has gone 3-2 since losing 93-89 against Cleveland on Christmas Day. Aside from that embarrassing loss in Boston, the Wizards have been quite feisty in the other four games. Afterward, the players were talking about this game possibly triggering more success down the road.

"If we play our remaining season the way we played this game, we're going to win our fair share of games," point guard Mike James said. "We built off the loss last time and we got a little run going by the way we played. The main thing to try to build off of this . . . and try to get another streak going."

The Wizards escaped, but there was plenty to be uneasy about after the win. First off, what would the result have been if official Bill Spooner hadn't been gutsy enough to call LeBron James for a travel on a play that he has been able to get away with for years? If you watch the replay, James's shot actually went through the basket and he initiated contact with Dominic McGuire. Any other time, it would've been a three-point play to give the Cavaliers a one-point victory (You can read all about LeTravel - and LeBron James's continuing feud with DeShawn Stevenson - here in the D.C. Sports Bog).

If the Wizards are going to find out how to finish more games, they are first going to have to learn how to protect and cherish the basketball like it is a precious jewel. The Wizards had five turnovers in the final 4 minutes, 11 seconds. They twice tried to force passes to Caron Butler late in the fourth quarter and both went out of bounds. McGuire misfired first, when he tossed the ball into the corner, even with James hounding Butler. McGuire, who had his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, said afterward, "It was bad play. I can't make that play in that situation. We didn't want to let this one slip away. It would've been a real bad taste in our mouth if we lost this one."

Even Antawn Jamison, who buried the decisive jumper with 10.5 seconds remaining, blamed himself for fouling Daniel Gibson on a three-pointer that helped the Cavaliers carve into the Wizards huge fourth-quarter lead, cutting an eight-point lead down to five. "It wasn't good basketball. It was the mental part of basketball that we was not being successful with," Jamison said.

Fortunately for the Wizards, they survived. If you can get one thing out this game, it's that regardless of the success Cleveland has had all season, and regardless of the success the Cavaliers have had against Washington the past three postseasons, you can never account for the role hatred and bad blood can play when these teams face each other. Mike James has only been a part of two Washington-Cleveland games, and he already recognizes the intensity. "You can definitely feel it," James said. "Even though our record is a bad record, it seems that we really get up for Cleveland, even though they are one of the top teams in the NBA right now."

By Michael Lee  |  January 4, 2009; 7:38 PM ET
 
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Comments

Antwan said it was similar to Duke UNC

Posted by: trolly_time | January 4, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFan78, I understand totally, but to play for the lottery sounds like I give up to me. We do not want that perception anywhere in our strategy.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 4, 2009 6:34 PM

Larry,

I am not saying just give up and try to lose games. There is no way this team can win a championship this year. The team is stuck with AJ and Gil for the next 4 years, give AJ 30 mins a game, play the young guys and see what they can do. Play for next year so the team can find out what type of coach they will need to hire and who would be the right person to draft and/or package the pick and a player for a veteran. If the Wizards believe they can win with the players they have on their roster now, I say go for it, but don’t just stand still that gets you nowhere.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 4, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

"It was the mental part of basketball that we was not being successful with," Jamison said."

Nice grammar, Antawn!

Posted by: TheFunBunch | January 4, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Can we trade Pech for Shelden Williams or Quincy Douby, I think Sacramento is willing to unload either of them, the salaries should match.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 4, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I just got through looking at a replay of the travel call, a couple different angles, and there's certainly no other description for it, other than old-fashioned, Traveling 101. In other words, if LeBron's been getting away with that in other games, the refs have been negligent.

I'm sure the Celts loss had an effect on the Wiz, too, in the way the Celts had responded to their embarrassing road trip. It's important for a team that's been down all year to pick it up for certain games, against rivals, and when the League's elite come to town. The Wiz sensed a weakness in Cleveland in the last game that they felt they could exploit today, and they were right. Does it mean they're the .500 team that Ernie Grunfeld said they could be when he fired Ed Jordan? I sure don't think so. I'd be surprised (pleasantly) if they won twenty-five games this season. Their play to this point suggests they just don't have the horses.

They've got some excellent vets in Butler and Jamison who can't carry the team very far without at least one more healthy front-line NBA player, preferably a big man. They've got some moderately dependable reserves like Songaila and Mike James who nonetheless would be more successful on a better-balanced club. They've got Stevenson in the midst of his worst season in years, and Etan Thomas coming back from a near-disastrous medical condition. They've got a bunch of talented kids who aren't ready for prime-time, no matter how much the fans want to believe they are. And they've got an interim coach who'd probably rather be working with the kids than talking to the media after every game.

It's a nightmare year. Not as bad as the US is having, but still... there are some signs of light at the end of the Chunnel. I'd rather think about those.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 4, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope that loss haunts the Cavs at the end of the season.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 4, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Didn't D-Mac almost throw away the Houston game when he forced a pass to Butler that was stolen by Artest?

Dom, please don't force feed Butler at the end of games!

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 4, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"I think Blatche can relate to 50 Cent being shot and all and both from New York.

Posted by: jeremydvid | January 4, 2009 5:56 PM "

Pope John Paul got shot too. He didn't come out with a rap song.


----------------------------------------------


On 13 May 1981 John Paul II was shot and critically wounded by Mehmet Ali Ağca, an expert and trained Turkish gunman who was a member of the militant group Grey Wolves, as he entered St. Peter's Square to address an audience. He was rushed into the Vatican complex, then to the Gemelli Hospital. The Pope had lost almost three-quarters of his blood, a near-exsanguination, despite the fact that the bullets missed his mesenteric artery and abdominal aorta. He underwent five hours of surgery to treat his massive blood loss and abdominal wounds. En route to the hospital, he lost consciousness. Ağca was caught and restrained by a nun and other bystanders until police arrived. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Two days after Christmas in1983, John Paul II visited the prison where his would-be assassin was being held. The two spoke privately for 20 minutes. John Paul II said, "What we talked about will have to remain a secret between him and me. I spoke to him as a brother whom I have pardoned and who has my complete trust." The pope also stated that Our Lady of Fátima helped keep him alive throughout his ordeal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_II

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 4, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't see why the Cavs should be the ones "haunted." They aren't the ones who choked away a 16 point 4th quarter lead. I don't think I've ever seen a team put as much effort into trying to give a game away as the Wiz did in this one. A 16 point lead early in the fourth and they bend over backwards missing shots and turning it over when the Cavs up the pressure.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 4, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, ole' Taps tried his best to give this one away. Going with small ball in the 4th almost cost them. DSong gave them no shot blocking threat or rebounding help. Dray was playing well and didnt even get a look. But just like a Cowboy loss, seeing LeTravel finally get called out on it was worth me watching this game.

Posted by: dhbond | January 4, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

The Cavs MAY be haunted due to the fact that, coming into the game, they had won just under 85% of their games, while the Wizards had won only 19% of their games. Even though this game was in Washington and a 'rivalry' game, the Cavs needed to win this won, as this is a team they should have beaten. Ergo, the haunting of the Cavs.

At this point, I don't think losing any kind of game will haunt this team, not at 7-25. The only losses that will haunt this team will be a catastrophic injury(ies)...

Posted by: -CN- | January 4, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

McGuire should be more careful with some of his passes. However, his rebounding helped the Wiz dominate the boards against a very good rebounding team. It was one of the keys to todays victory.

Tim

Posted by: cannontl | January 4, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The team's rotation is now set, at least for the next 2+ weeks (with Stevenson out), with Dixon probably being the next in line to get PT, as the front court is solidified with Thomas & Songalia being the guys off the bench. Hope Crittenton plays quality ball to make an argument to get some minutes after Stevenson is inevitably back getting key minutes...

Posted by: -CN- | January 4, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Fourth quarter disintegration was worse than losing the 7 point lead on Christmas day IMO. No way that a well coached team gives away a 16 point 4th quarterlead against a team that was playing terrible the except LeBron. The Wiz played almost as if they expected to lose even though they were in control of the game....lack of confidence or poor coaching? I think it's a bit of both. A good coach calls set plays to get the ball to his best players and both Caron & AJ were playing well. Tapscott is in way over his head and it shows in close games.

I find the Wiz hard to watch and it's even more disappointing the way EG has handled some of the injuries to the veterans like AD and DSS until they couldn't play anymore. Grunfeld says the team's play is unacceptable and uses EJ as the scapegoat.

I see a team missing its star player (Agent Zero) and starting center for probably the entire season, its two veteran backcourt players playing with injuries until they couldn't play anymore, and our best shooter/6th man winning games for San Antonio.

Ernie Grunfeld should be held accountable for the teams performance and let go after this season along with the team's medical staff. I won't play another hard earned $ to watch a team that is so poorly managed and then uses the coach who got them in the playoffs for 4 years in a row as the fall guy.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 4, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I think TMac said it best.

It's hard for elite teams to get up for bottom feeders like Les BouleS.

Thus, they try to coast during the game and then turn it up at the end. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I don't think LeBron is losing too much sleep over his team's loss to Les BouleS.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 4, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

LeBron never wants to lose to the Wiz.

Posted by: ptp23 | January 4, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

"LeBron never wants to lose to the Wiz.

Posted by: ptp23 | January 4, 2009 10:02 PM "

I don't think LeBron wants to lose to anyone.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 4, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Even the Espn announcers making fun of LeBron. Dag!

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=290104027

Posted by: ptp23 | January 4, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't think LeBron wants to lose to anyone.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 4, 2009 10:07 PM

I agree but it's personal with the Wizards. He likes tormenting te Wiz like MJ tormented Cleveland all those years..

Posted by: ptp23 | January 4, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Took a good look at the video in slow motion
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=290104027

If someone can confirm my thought here: the right foot counts as step one, because he turns his hand over to pick up his dribble...as opposed to when he puts both hands on the ball after his right foot is planted. is that correct?

Posted by: crs-one | January 4, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

idk how much longer i can take life without gilbert on the court

Posted by: RussianMachineNeverBreaks | January 4, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Took a good look at the video in slow motion
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=290104027

If someone can confirm my thought here: the right foot counts as step one, because he turns his hand over to pick up his dribble...as opposed to when he puts both hands on the ball after his right foot is planted. is that correct?

Posted by: crs-one | January 4, 2009 10:33 PM


Correct. He took 3 steps. even his coach (Brown) brown is quoted as saying it was a travel.

Posted by: ptp23 | January 4, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

"I agree but it's personal with the Wizards. He likes tormenting te Wiz like MJ tormented Cleveland all those years..

Posted by: ptp23 | January 4, 2009 10:26 PM "

This loss would have been a bigger deal had Gilby and BTH been healthy and MeShawn was still talking smack.

I think MeShawn started the season with his tail between his legs.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 4, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

"Correct. He took 3 steps. even his coach (Brown) brown is quoted as saying it was a travel.

Posted by: ptp23 | January 4, 2009 10:42 PM "

I agree he traveled, but those like Wilbon would call it a "jump step" as MJ did it all the time, especially when he used to shoot that turnaround fallaway jumper.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 4, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

One of the factors I am starting to consider in Arenas's return is his lack of bold predictions or proclamations. Arenas has never held back in the past from being overconfident. Is the lack of boasts from Arenas a sign that he is seriously doubting his prospects for the future? If not, will he please come out and say something bold for old times sake, I think I speak for all Wizards fans in saying that the absence of the swagger is disconcerting. If he fails to come back successfully this time, he is done for good as far as being the perennial allstar we expected when we gave him the big contract, and he is just as humiliated whether or not he says something boastful. If he comes back successfully, then his boasts will have reassured a wary fanbase during the last couple of months before his return hopefully after the Allstar Break.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 4, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

That was no jump step. As you know, the feet have to come down simultaneously. Wilbon and other MJ-worshipers (and LeBron-worshipers) have been blinded by their devotion. I just can't believe the arguments that Cav fans make. Reality gets suspended when it comes to the King.

Posted by: Good2bOK | January 4, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Yea, he traveled like in three suitcases.

The norm for not calling travel is two and half suitcases. He overpacked and kudos to ref for calling it on his butt.

Times are hard these days and you got to pay for that extra luggage.

Haven't you heard?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 5, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Getting back to the 4th Q. We might need to go with JD at the point and James at the 2.

With this team makeup, with these two guys and give them the green light and the floor control, will give this team a great chance to keep scoring, thereby, winning the 4th Q, and the game.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 4, 2009 7:02 PM

We must have a gametime, take no prisoners mentality in the 4th by the person controlling the ball.

That person on this team right now is Juan Dixon.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 5, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfield is right for you that doubt.

This is a 500 Team. I believe that and would not have called for EJ's demise otherwise.

Yawl better look hard at East. With over 45 games left, the Wizards still have a huge chance of making the playoffs.

And too make the playoffs this year won't say too much about all them arguments about EJ making in 4-yrs in a row, will it.

There, I can't believe I said it with ETaps still the coach, but I did.

This Team is better than a lot of you think. Hopefully, sometimes the players decide that they will win in spite of bad coaching. We are getting there.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 5, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

How quickly we forget all the bad coaching decisions made by Eddie but we still made the playoffs.

These players may be figuring that out.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 5, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

The only chance the Wizards have to make the playoffs is if Arenas returns, soon, and plays close to his old form right away. And even that's a longshot. Otherwise, they're cooked.

Anyone who can actually say with a straight face that they have a "huge chance" to make the playoffs as currently constructed needs to enter a 12-step kool-aid program, because they've been drinking the strong stuff.

And if Arenas does return and they make the playoffs (longshot), it would (A) be a completely different situation than making it without Arenas for the whole year, (B) not come close to the accomplishment of making it 4 years in a row (4 being greater than 1, last time I checked), (C) say nothing about negative Jordan but perhaps say something quite positive about Tapscott.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 5, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

EJ's strategy was to beat up on the Bobcats and Hawks, while going .500 with the better teams.

The problem with E-Tap is I have no faith we will beat the Bobcats the next time we see them, at least I had that faith with EJ.

Posted by: twigmuffin | January 5, 2009 3:19 AM | Report abuse

Mcguire's hustle and enthusiasm on the floor cannot be underestimated, in the case of blatche it seems infectious, he helps aj a ton and should be encouraged to try and get to the rim and/or create off the dribble, he gives you everything you want defensively but throws in a few of the awful, hard to erase from your memory plays, but unlike before he doesn't seem to let that inhibit his next possession, his confidence is growing and he will continue to improve as the year goes on. With the roster as is, dom is by far the best defensive player on the squad. Blatche didn't seem hindered by the ankle, therefore he should of seen more time late against the cavs, and entirely phasing javale out of the picture is absurd, he hasn't spent a single minute on the floor with blatche, please try this. Songaila is over-matched at the four defensively and we continue to ask him to play the five? just because he's slow doesn't mean he should play center.

Posted by: bford1kb | January 5, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

A thoroughly satisfying win... despite the near collapse at the end... seeing the King frustrated and his lap dog coach given the heave were "priceless" moments...

AJ (I am sick of reading fan dumps on this man, he is one of the most consistently productive and honorable players in the league) and CB3 were not going to be denied, the point guard tandem of James and Critt held up really well (I have NEVER seen Mo Williams have a bad game against the Wizards until this one, which was a true stinker for him) and the size advantage that Critt has over the Cavs mouseketeer guards was IMO quite valuable.

Should we be concerned that JD and JVM did not see action in this one... Not really, Songaila produced 7 boards, ET was effective in the scrum, and the combination of Caron and Nick Young led to some serious offensive numbers from the 2 guard slot.

The emergence of Dom, noted by the last poster, is terrific... He should have gotten a bit more help on that turnover at the end (i.e. a teammate should have come to him for a short pass instead of leaving him isolated under pressure and expected to throw a perfect pass to CB, which was not going to happen) but the young man is doing all you can ask and more... 10-10 and a few assists on the side is a terrific game.

If we get Gil back fairly soon, we might have a fairly respectable record at the end of the day... and if we don't get a high lottery pick, making a deal like Mike James and a 10-12 pick to OKC for Chris Wilcox would not be all that bad.

Posted by: khrabb | January 5, 2009 6:11 AM | Report abuse

There are precisely the times when we need a guy who doesn't choke under pressure like Gil. (except for the free throws that one time).

I'm not about to start complaining about a win, though. WE did exactly what we tried to do for years...make LeBron try to do it all himself. We neutralized his below average cast and the strategy worked. While some are complaining about how we finished the game, I'm more focused on the fact that Mo, Wally, Varejao, Ben and others did nothing to hurt us.
If we continue to play like we are and Tap finally loses his man crush on Songaila, we'll scare some people and wind up as a legitimate spoiler even without Gil or BTH. If we add those 2, we should still miss the playoffs but no one will want to see us in Feb/Mar/Apr.

Posted by: original_mark | January 5, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone should put too much into this win.

Two positives:

1) Moving Caron to the 2, and D.Mac to the 4/5 was a good move(that many of us yelled for in training camp).

2) They beat a good team and played GREAT defense. No reason to think they can't continue that.

Well actually there's 3....they put that ugly loss the the C's behind them really fast.

One thing I do like about Stevenson is that he really dislikes Lebron. Now if he could only hit his shots. :P

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 5, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

LeBron wants a league investigation because he doesn't know the difference between 1 1/2 and 4. Just because he goes up in the air on that move doesn't make it a jump stop, because he never stops! He takes another step and a half AFTER the supposed jump stop part of the move.

And the "Crab Dribble", he can name it what ever he wants, it's palming or carrying the ball plain and simple.

Reminds me of the time when they have the replacement refs and the one guy whistled Barkley for traveling. Berkley turned to the guy and said,"These people didn't pay to see you whistling me for traveling."

The replacement ref said, "well then don't do it!"

Can't wait til Friday when our weekly delivery truck arrives from Cleveland! I think I'll have a replay of ESPN ready to play!

McGuire made some rookie mistakes in the 4th, but the guy is a baller. The Wiz are a different team with him out there. I also liked Mike James throwing that elbow then nailing the shot.

This team's rep is, get physical in the 4th and they wilt. I dislike small ball as much as anyone, but Songaila is one of the guys that we have that will mix it up and not get thrown off his game by physical play.

I like the move of Butler to the 2. But paired with James it doesn't give the Wiz a really steady ballhandling backcourt if a team really applies pressure.

Great to hear Gil took another step in his recovery by starting to play two on two.

Posted by: flohrtv | January 5, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully ETap learned that while having DSong in the game the last 4 minutes is not a bad thing, he also needs to have his big man AB in as well. I think an offensive line up of AB, AJ, DSong, CB and MJames would have been more effective and then switch to a defensive lineup of AB, AJ, DMac, CB and Critt whenever possible during the final minutes. The team ETapp had in seemed to have no cohesion or confidence on either end of the floor. perhaps this offensive/defensive flipflopping would have given the players on the floor more purpose and conviction of the moment. Also, the defensive jump outs on CryBaby were not solid at all, nobody took ownership. They need to really work on this in practice.

Posted by: oddjob1 | January 5, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Larry in Clinton Md.you my man are a true die hard fan thinking this team as it sits can make the playoffs you need to take off those rose covered glasses bro if EJ was still coaching i'd say we got a shot, even with the current record(and trust me the record wouldn't be this bad if EJ had remained the coach)but with ETAPS playing lap dog to Grunfeld and Wes Jr.chomping at the bit for the head coaching position i'll say confusion will continue to be the order of the day and if we win twenty five games i'll be shocked, but i admire your loyalty.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 5, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"One of the factors I am starting to consider in Arenas's return is his lack of bold predictions or proclamations. Arenas has never held back in the past from being overconfident. Is the lack of boasts from Arenas a sign that he is seriously doubting his prospects for the future? If not, will he please come out and say something bold for old times sake, I think I speak for all Wizards fans in saying that the absence of the swagger is disconcerting. If he fails to come back successfully this time, he is done for good as far as being the perennial allstar we expected when we gave him the big contract, and he is just as humiliated whether or not he says something boastful. If he comes back successfully, then his boasts will have reassured a wary fanbase during the last couple of months before his return hopefully after the Allstar Break.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 4, 2009 11:45 PM "

Gilby in the past had to blow his own tuba because he was his own marketing machine.

He had to do it in order to get paid what he did.

Now that he's a max money dude, coupled with the fact that he got a cold dose of reality the last time he was on the court, that's probably enough to keep the cork in his mouth until he can actually prove to himself that he's back.

But, being just back isn't enough. With his salary and boasts, come grand expectations. He'll either succeed with a championship (unlikely) here, or leave town with his tail between his legs (eg. MJ).

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 5, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"Also, the defensive jump outs on CryBaby were not solid at all, nobody took ownership."

As much as I can't stand the guy, Lebron is going to get his points. I thought the Wiz played some of the best defense they played all year, albeit Big Z didn't play for Cleveland.

Kinda reminds you of Haywood not playing for the Wiz doesn't it?

Anyway they held a good team to 77 points, that's pretty impressive. Let's be honest, they aren't going to play perfect defense and if you can't stop Lebron then you should be able to stop the rest of the team.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 5, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

That was an awful 4th quarter from the Wiz. Great win nonetheless. You can really feel that they were playing not to lose rather than playing to win. Good to see the coach going with the offense-defense substitution in the end.

Leading by 16 in the final quarter, the team shouldn't have to be "saved" by the ref to win the game. Everybody, including the all-stars" made some huge errors. Inspite of this meltdown the connotation that teams only play the Wizards in the final quarter is pure baloney.

Posted by: Dave381 | January 5, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The Cavs coasted for 3 quarters, Lebron napped through most of the game, then they cranked it up in the 4th and came within one shot of walking away with the win, despite being down by 16 when it started. It is what it is.

BTW, in order to finish at .500, the Wiz would have to go 34 and 16 the rest of the way. Does anyone really think this team is capable of running off a 68% winning percentage the rest of the season? Really?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 5, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

As what I said, it was the Wizards errors that made the game close and not the Cavs "waking" up in the 4th quarter. Did you see their shooting % in the first half of the 4th? Just because a former all star mentioned about it that it is also true for the other teams in the league.

Posted by: Dave381 | January 5, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards "errors" didn't happen in a vacuum. The Cavs upped the pressure in the 4th at both ends and the Wizards wilted, just like they have all season.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 5, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the upped their game in the 4th, as what should all team do, but that doesn't mean they didn't play the first 3 quarters.

Posted by: Dave381 | January 5, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Kalorama: How's Eddie doing??

Posted by: cj658 | January 5, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

No one said they weren't playing the first 3 quarters. I said they weren't playing full out the first 3 quarters, and anyone who watched the Cleveland game (or any of a number of other games where the Wiz stayed close only to get overrun in the 4th) knows that to be true.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 6, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, right. Just because T-Mac said it and it will hold true to other teams. With the Wiz-Cavs "rivalry", don't you think King James and the rest of the Cavs would want to blowout the Wiz in their homecourt? Think about that. Or maybe your buddy Lebron told you so.

Posted by: Dave381 | January 6, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

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