Raptors 97, Wizards 96
Oh, what a night. For Wizards fans, the night was in ruin the last 6 minutes, 30 seconds as the little team that couldn't figured out every possible way it could to blow a 13-point fourth-quarter lead. For me, my night was all shook up around the time I happened to scroll across the Internet to find that Yahoo! Sports was reporting that Flip Saunders and the Wizards had reached a verbal agreement on a four-year, $18-million contract.
I know Adrian Wojnarowski very well and I respect him as one of the best news reporters/columnists that covers the league. If there is a major NBA story that needs to be broken, Woj is the man who usually does it. I'm sure that he heard the information from some trusted sources that a deal had been reached -- and I am not going to attempt to discredit him. He might be right, but I could not find a soul to confirm it. That doesn't mean the story is wrong, because the Wizards could really just be trying to keep this under wraps until they are ready to make an announcement on their terms. As one person I spoke with last night said, "There is nothing to confirm."
"Nothing done or agreed upon," one source said. "Someone jumping the gun."
What I can tell you -- based on the conversations that I had last night and throughout the day yesterday -- is that a deal with Flip Saunders is inevitable. Saunders is the guy that Ernie Grunfeld has targeted for some time. Grunfeld made him an offer with the expectation that Saunders would agree in a week or so. And, with Grunfeld set to be in New York for the Board of Governors meetings on Thursday and Friday, I wouldn't be shocked if something is finalized by Wednesday.
As I reported earlier, the money is expected to be slightly less than the four-year, $20-million deal he signed with the Detroit Pistons in 2005. I can also tell you that Saunders is very interested in coaching the Wizards. There is very little chance that this courtship will end without Saunders becoming the next coach of this franchise.
As for that game? What on earth was that? When a team has 62 losses in a season, there are bound to be some stinkers, but that had to be one flaming-bag-of-cow-patty finish. How can a team get score 93 points in the first 43 minutes and get one field goal the rest of the game? The Raptors aren't a good defensive team (this squad gave up 115 points in three quarters to Indiana last week). Yes, Antawn Jamison was forced to leave the game with a twisted right ankle with 10 minutes, 39 seconds remaining, but when Jamison left the Wizards were only up by eight points. They had built the lead up to 13 in his absence.
But here is a run down of the Wizards final possessions after taking a 93-80 lead with 6:30 remaining. Darius Songaila had his shot blocked by Patrick O'Bryant and the Wizards had a shot clock violation, turnover. Juan Dixion had a steal and layup to give the Wizards a 95-92 lead with 2:51 remaining. Dixon had a bad pass, turnover. Caron Butler stepped out of bounds, turnover. Songaila had his shot blocked by O'Bryant again. Butler had his shot blocked by Shawn Marion. Brendan Haywood makes one of two free throws to give the Wizards a 96-92 lead with 26.8 seconds remaining.
Then, it happened -- the worst possible possession of the evening. Marion made a layup to bring Toronto within two points. Wizards interim Coach Ed Tapscott told his team to call a timeout on a made basket. Yet somehow the ball wound up in Dixon's hands. Dixon dribbled up the court, even as Tapscott was begging for a timeout.
Then as he got trapped near halfcourt, Dixon fired a pass that was intended for Haywood. Problem was, Haywood had stopped to head back to the bench for a timeout -- and the pass nearly hit Raptors Coach Jay Triano. It was Dixon's fourth turnover of the period and fifth of the game and makes you wonder why Javaris Crittenton didn't see the floor in the fourth quarter again, especially after a poor pass from Dixon nearly cost the Wizards the game in Toronto on Friday.
To top it all off, during the timeout after Dixon's last turnover on Monday, Tapscott told his team not to give up a three-pointer. So, you know exactly what happened next. Jose Calderon drove in and kicked out to Chris Bosh, who entered the game with just 10 made three-pointers all season. Bosh had enough time to wash his long dreads, dry them, and shake them good, before burying the decisive three-pointer with 9.3 seconds left.
"Dain bramage," Tapscott said afterward. "Brain damage. Dain bramage. We just brain locked. We made about every mistake you could make down the stretch."
So, when is Flip coming again? This season can't end soon enough.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: twigmuffin | April 14, 2009 1:15 AM
Posted by: Chad32 | April 14, 2009 1:26 AM
Posted by: iamse7en | April 14, 2009 1:28 AM
Posted by: Chad32 | April 14, 2009 1:28 AM
Posted by: JPRS | April 14, 2009 1:30 AM
Posted by: twigmuffin | April 14, 2009 1:37 AM
Posted by: JPRS | April 14, 2009 2:05 AM
Posted by: rphilli721 | April 14, 2009 4:09 AM
Posted by: Samson151 | April 14, 2009 7:39 AM
Posted by: rtipton | April 14, 2009 8:46 AM
Posted by: rcnasa | April 14, 2009 9:01 AM
Posted by: cballer | April 14, 2009 9:10 AM
Posted by: Sports_Guru | April 14, 2009 9:16 AM
Posted by: Sports_Guru | April 14, 2009 9:19 AM
Posted by: dargregmag | April 14, 2009 9:30 AM
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 14, 2009 9:45 AM
Posted by: JPRS | April 14, 2009 10:22 AM
Posted by: disgruntledfan | April 14, 2009 10:38 AM
Posted by: wizfan89 | April 14, 2009 10:49 AM
Posted by: bryc3 | April 14, 2009 11:02 AM
Posted by: flohrtv | April 14, 2009 11:05 AM
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 14, 2009 11:09 AM
Posted by: rmcazz | April 14, 2009 11:21 AM
Posted by: flohrtv | April 14, 2009 11:27 AM
Posted by: original_mark | April 14, 2009 11:30 AM
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 14, 2009 11:46 AM
Posted by: rbelleisle | April 14, 2009 12:06 PM
Posted by: JPRS | April 14, 2009 12:16 PM
Posted by: read2 | April 14, 2009 12:16 PM
Posted by: rcnasa | April 14, 2009 12:25 PM
Posted by: rcnasa | April 14, 2009 12:29 PM
Posted by: JPRS | April 14, 2009 12:53 PM
Posted by: JPRS | April 14, 2009 1:06 PM
Posted by: MEssex | April 14, 2009 1:22 PM
Posted by: sagaliba | April 14, 2009 1:22 PM
Posted by: sagaliba | April 14, 2009 1:45 PM
Posted by: hawksbest08 | April 14, 2009 2:52 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.