Celtics 115, Wizards 107; Arenas Speaks
It's over. This season of bad luck, bad breaks, bad shots, bad passes, bad box outs, bad picks, bad rolls, bad news and bad defense mercifully came to an end, with the Wizards doing no damage on their lottery position.
They will finish the season tied with the 2000-01 Wizards for the worst record in franchise history (19-63). They will also finish tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the second-worst record in the league after the Clippers didn't even bother showing up for their season finale against Oklahoma City. As I'm writing this, the Clips are down 31, at home, in the fourth quarter to a team with 22 wins!?!
The Wizards were not playing for ping-pong balls last night. Even though they had just eight players -- none of whom were Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood or Gilbert Arenas -- they really wanted to get win No. 20. At least Caron Butler did. The lone opening day starter to see the floor on Wednesday night, scored a season-high 39 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter.
"I can't thank him enough, in terms of coming out in the last game, nothing to prove for him and he gave me a warrior's effort," Interim Coach Ed Tapscott said. "Him and Antawn [Jamison], in particular, have been like that all year long. It was my privilege to coach them."
Said Butler, "I was trying to finish the season strong. The goal was always to get 20 wins. Unfortunately, we fell a little short," Butler said. "It's hard as a player to find the bright spot in all this losing and to continue to come out and keep preparing. I respect all the guys in the locker room for rallying together and finding a way to compete and not go on vacation too early. Now it's officially over, so they can enjoy themselves. But I can't wait to get back at it."
Although Boston rested Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, the Wizards just couldn't withstand the loss of point guard Javaris Crittenton, who was forced to leave in the third quarter with a sprained right ankle. That left Juan Dixon as the only ball handler on the floor. You sort of felt bad for the guy, playing out of position, as he had his second consecutive forgettable fourth quarter with three turnovers.
Tapscott was asked if he was relieved that the season is finished. Tapscott stayed classy on his way out. "You mean like our long national nightmare is finally over? No. I enjoyed coaching these guys," he said. "I have not coached in quite a while. This was a thrill. To have two captains like I had and to see some of the progress with some of the young guys, that was a thrill for me. I'm very much appreciative to those guys for hanging in there and continue to competing until the very end. I would coach tomorrow if I could."
But enough with that relatively meaningless game. The big news after the game was that Gilbert Arenas finally explained why he didn't play another game after helping the Wizards beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-101 on April 2. Since then, Arenas has been mapping out his workout program for next season, which he says he will begin next week. He said his knee is fine, but the trainers didn't want him to risk getting hurt with the team having nothing more to play for.
"We decided, mostly the trainers were happy with the performance I put on," Arenas said. "Movement-wise, they thought I was moving well. They liked the explosion I was showing. And they said there is no point in playing. If we win, we don't win, there is no point of it. We've seen what we like, let's get ready for next season."
"It wasn't up to me," Arenas continued. "I wasn't worried about what I was physically doing out on the basketball court. I haven't played in so long, I wasn't expecting to hit shots and get to the basket and dunk on people. I was just trying to run, react, run around the floor and get a feel."
He then added that Tapscott told him that he can play if he wanted to, but explained that the Wizards didn't really need him to finish the season. "If we were in the playoff race, this wouldn't have happened," Arenas said.
With the expected hiring of Flip Saunders, Jamison also had a great quote while explaining that things will be different for the younger players next season. "I think the coaching staff is really going to have to get them. They've been in a nice bed and breakfast the last couple of seasons," Jamison said.
And so it ends.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Chad32 | April 16, 2009 1:17 AM
Posted by: bj2000 | April 16, 2009 1:44 AM
Posted by: IrenePollin | April 16, 2009 1:50 AM
Posted by: KeithMcMillan | April 16, 2009 2:31 AM
Posted by: Chad32 | April 16, 2009 2:51 AM
Posted by: MeviousMan | April 16, 2009 4:03 AM
Posted by: disgruntledfan | April 16, 2009 5:55 AM
Posted by: Izman | April 16, 2009 7:09 AM
Posted by: original_mark | April 16, 2009 7:11 AM
Posted by: BPupp | April 16, 2009 7:19 AM
Posted by: Samson151 | April 16, 2009 7:31 AM
Posted by: jeremybozz | April 16, 2009 7:36 AM
Posted by: Samson151 | April 16, 2009 8:09 AM
Posted by: Samson151 | April 16, 2009 8:10 AM
Posted by: glawrence007 | April 16, 2009 8:19 AM
Posted by: CBell29 | April 16, 2009 8:41 AM
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 16, 2009 8:48 AM
Posted by: Izman | April 16, 2009 8:51 AM
Posted by: Izman | April 16, 2009 8:59 AM
Posted by: original_mark | April 16, 2009 9:34 AM
Posted by: duffin_j | April 16, 2009 9:40 AM
Posted by: original_mark | April 16, 2009 9:43 AM
Posted by: JoeC2 | April 16, 2009 9:48 AM
Posted by: original_mark | April 16, 2009 9:57 AM
Posted by: wizfan89 | April 16, 2009 10:23 AM
Posted by: keithward64 | April 16, 2009 10:25 AM
Posted by: glawrence007 | April 16, 2009 11:00 AM
Posted by: Samson151 | April 16, 2009 11:09 AM
Posted by: kalo_rama | April 16, 2009 11:13 AM
Posted by: Samson151 | April 16, 2009 11:19 AM
Posted by: cballer | April 16, 2009 11:20 AM
Posted by: Samson151 | April 16, 2009 11:29 AM
Posted by: Samson151 | April 16, 2009 11:40 AM
Posted by: kalo_rama | April 16, 2009 12:21 PM
Posted by: fishin41 | April 16, 2009 12:27 PM
Posted by: leopard09 | April 16, 2009 1:10 PM
Posted by: dandyhuffman | April 16, 2009 1:38 PM
Posted by: sagaliba | April 16, 2009 1:48 PM
Posted by: RedCherokee | April 16, 2009 2:10 PM
Posted by: cballer | April 16, 2009 3:05 PM
Posted by: sagaliba | April 16, 2009 5:10 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.