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Wizards 90, 76ers 89; Jamison Lifting Weights

Wasn't that one fun? That had to be one of the most ridiculously hilarious endings that I've seen in some time, as the Wizards beat Eddie Jordan and his 76ers in his new digs. Flip Saunders left it up his young guys and one of his oldest guys to finish the game. And they finished all right -- with a series of bloopers before getting bailed out when the 76ers' Willie Green provided the decisive gaffe.

"Both teams won it and lost it down the stretch, like two or three times," Saunders said.

The Wizards led for most of the fourth quarter, but squandered the lead late before Nick Young tied the game at 88 with an ice-cold fadeaway with 31.9 seconds remaining. They appeared to catch a break a few seconds later, when they forced 76ers guard Louis Williams into missing a layup and JaVale McGee grabbed the loose ball near halfcourt.

It would have been a great opportunity for the Wizards to capitalize and close out with a last-second shot -- but McGee didn't stop dribbling. He sprinted the length of the court, neglecting the guards on the floor and deciding that the time was ripe for a game-capping highlight dunk. McGee took off, some 10, 12 feet from the basket and whiffed badly at the layup. He cried for a foul afterward, grabbing his arm to explain what happened to a referee.

McGee said he learned a lesson from the experience. "I was thinking about dunking, but when I was going up, he smacked my arm like five times. I said okay, 'Foul.' They didn't call it. I was like, 'Man.' I definitely felt I should've held on to it. but I got to halfcourt and I waited and it opened up. I just kept going.

"We was supposed to run a play," Young explained, as McGee listened in the background. "It was like he had the devil and an angel on his shoulders. He tried to stop, but the devil told him, 'Keep going.' That's what happened."

McGee shook his head and chuckled. Young was able to laugh, but only because he had a solid fourth quarter with eight points --- and he didn't have to spend the rest of the night thinking about his silly foul with one second remaining. Green got Young stuck in the air with a pump fake, but only made one free throw.

The Wizards had drawn up a play for Young, but when he was covered, Dominic McGuire threw the ball to Mike James, who launched an airball three-pointer. But fortunately for the Wizards, Green was called for a foul after he appeared to hit James on his left, non-shooting elbow, with three-tenths of a second remaining. "They say it's a foul if the ref calls it," James said after scoring 15 points.

James calmly sank the first two free throws, but when he tried to just hit the rim so that time would run out, James decided to shoot the ball left-handed. James's shot was just a bit outside, soaring about five feet to the left and out-of-bounds, giving the 76ers one more chance to win the game with 0.3 seconds. The Wizards batted away the 76ers' final lob attempt.

"Yeah, I would've definitely gotten an H on that," James said, when asked about his H-O-R-S-E shot. "I tried the left hand shot, but I'm not going to do that no more. I thought my left has was better than that, you know what I'm saying? But obviously, I need more practice with that in the summer time."

Said Saunders, "That's what they call a learning experience."

Saunders said he was pleased with the defensive effort, coming off a disconcerting outing the night before in Atlanta. The Wizards held the 76ers to below 100 points for just the second time this preseason. The 76ers had scored 229 combined points in their previous two games against Phoenix. "Our defense was good tonight," he said. "Defensivly, we made some progress. We were not good last night. We were better tonight. I hope we continue through Friday [in Chicago]."

In addition to improving to 4-3 in the preseason, the Wizards had to be encouraged with the progress of Antawn Jamison, who started lifting weights for the first time before the game. Jamison suffered a shoulder subluxation last Wednesday in Cleveland and said he is slowly recovering the range of motion in his shoulder.

"Yeah, I've got my range of motion and can lift and things of that nature. Basketball-wise, the [medical and training staff] won't let me do any of that. But strength is up, and they're impressed as far as how fast I've been able to heal and how strong the shoulder is. Right now, it's me being patient as far as going along with the plan."

I asked if he's been able to shoot and Jamsion said, "They wont let me shoot at all. You know I want to. They said wait."

Take your time.

By Michael Lee  |  October 21, 2009; 12:04 AM ET
 
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Comments

1st! Eddie Jordan is suck!

Posted by: Dat2U | October 21, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

the sixer were 41-41 last year they lost miller and gained EJ which means the should win about 32 games this year.

The Wizards hopefully beat the teams they're suppose to beat and maybe surprsie a few of the upper teams to get the 4th spot.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 21, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

It's good to see that Jamison has been cleared to lift weights, but let's not forget that which medical staff this is. Hopefully they get it right and this isn't a nagging injury, something that throws off his shot or rebounding ability.

Posted by: NWDC3 | October 21, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

The Sixers were 41-41 last season. They lost a PG who couldn't shoot, got one of the best big men in the NBA back healthy, got one of the best shooters in the league to pair him with, and got a coach whose offense is well-suited to using them together.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 21, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

BLAIR UPDATE:

Dejuan Blair had 17 point, 10 rebounds and 3 steals in 15 minutes last night.

FIFTEEN MINUTES !!

Posted by: original_mark | October 21, 2009 1:54 AM | Report abuse

BLAIR UPDATE:

Dejuan Blair had 17 point, 10 rebounds and 3 steals in 15 minutes last night.

FIFTEEN MINUTES !!

Posted by: original_mark | October 21, 2009 1:54 AM | Report abuse

7-13 shooting and one block! ;-)
I don't know how he will do in regular season but I think the guy has the same eager and mentality to prove every body wrong like Arenas when he was picked in the second round...

Posted by: Goelez | October 21, 2009 3:25 AM | Report abuse

i like what i saw last night.The defense was good, they stop 76ers to less than 43%shooting, they nearly mached their fastbreak, out rebound and won the paint.
Philli was second in rebounding last season.The only thing i like about NY is his attitude to the game, hopfullyhe will be a deadly shooter from the bench, he need to settle his mind as a 6th or 7th man in the team.I will like to say it again, if they play foye as PG the season is going to be a waste.Mj i will eventually win a spot unless JC is making a push.
CB is still strong lighter he can start at 2.
I like CB,GA,MM,AJ and BH to starter more games. Foye 6th man,AB 7th and either DS or NY win the 8th spot.DS was too hard on AI, if he play such a defense he will win big minutes in the game.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 21, 2009 6:26 AM | Report abuse

...what happened to BTH's free throw shooting? 1 for 5 last night and its been like this all preseason.

Posted by: oddjob1 | October 21, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

??? Why are people so interested in Dejuan Blair?

Posted by: charley42 | October 21, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

We lost our shooting coach of 2 years and it's gonna cost us a few wins at the free throw line this year. A few guys had career years in terms of ft% once Dave Hopla had worked with them for a while.

This is our team ft% over the last 5 years...

.725 .757 .765 .782 .767

The last two years were under Hopla. He seems to have made a difference. Of course, getting rid of Michael Ruffin probably made as big a difference.

Posted by: original_mark | October 21, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

charley42,
People are interested in Blair because he could have been had for a second round pick. The contract would have been non guaranteed and basically we had nothing to lose to take a shot at a player of the year candidate whose specialty is one of our weaknesses ...rebounding.

While I realize it does no good to talk about what could have been, it's hard for me to get over it because a lot of us were clamoring for the pick during the draft. It's not like the Karl Malone/Kenny Green situation where we didnt know that Malone had that much potential. We KNEW Blair could play.

Posted by: original_mark | October 21, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Haywood, McGee and Blatche played all-round inspired ball last night. EJ finally motivated a big guy.

Did anybody notice that EJ went small down the stretch? And earlier in the pre-season he publicly escewed Speights for scoring 38 and pulling down 15 boards. I suppose only in basketball can somebody over 6 feet tall have a Napolean complex.

Anyway, the Wiz need a good tune-up in Chicago to be ready for the season.

Posted by: Izman | October 21, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Foye impressed me. When Gilbert sits, we'll still have a guy who can pressure the defense from the outside or by taking it to the rim. Similar games.

Was anyone channeling Eddie Tapscott when Nick and Javale made those mistakes at the end of the game? Although Saunders didn't make a big deal about, it's going to cost them both PT. Too bad.

Posted by: jweber1 | October 21, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

All in all not a bad night for the locals, although Javale nearly blew it(what was he thinking?) a poster suggested bringing back Hoopla(FT shooting coach) i wholeheartdly concour.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 21, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

The backcourt of Foye and Young was terrible to start the game. I am not impressed with Foye as PG, but I like his aggressiveness on D and while playing the 2.

I was very impressed with the bigs tonight, all of them. BH was really good. Blatche is showing an improved jumper. And McGee, yes McGee, played some really good D. Of course, McGee is showing that he has got to be one of the dumbest players on the roster. He continues to take awful shots, and the play at the end of the game demonstrates one of two things: unbridled selfishness or complete stupidity.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | October 21, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Ok... I don't want to nag or anything but seriously mike lee, the grammar of your articles nowadays is absolutely terrible. You've had at least one annoying grammar mistake in like you last 15 articles. Seriously, starting a sentence with a lower case "b"? Come one, I know you are better than that

Posted by: bullets8890 | October 21, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Consider me informed o-mark.

Posted by: cmecyclist | October 21, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Blair's statistics translate to these awards:

pre-season rookie of the year
pre-season MVP
if he continues thru the season every team passed on him and would be like Portland picking Sam Bowie over Jordan because he would also gain these awards:
regular season rookie of he year
regular season MVP

San Antonio could put Tim Duncan on the trading block.

Folks it is pre-season. Those stats will not transfer to the regular season. NOBODY has those stats in the regular season, especially while playing less than 20 minutes.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 21, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

O'Mark, Still got that Blair B itch Project going...

I was one of the guys on here that thought the Wiz should have taken a look at him last spring. But I understand the logic behind why he's not here and he is in SA.

Big question I see with Blair, can he guard a guy like Jamison, Lewis, Etc. in space? Against teams that don't have a 4 with an offensive game to make Blair guard in space, he'll eat some guys alive if he's allowed camp in the lane and play to his strength.

I haven't seen him play preseason yet, but he was supposedly working 24/7 to shed weight and get in better overall shape.
The guy could be on a course to get an early payday if he can make a big impression in his first two yrs like Arenas did.

Not sure that it was in the cards to happen here.I feel about 100% certain that Flip and Ernie were very in tune with each other regarding the make up of this roster.

If there was a player sitting there in the second rd that Flip was saying I've just got to have, I can't see where Ernie would have sold the pick.

2nd rounders who make it do so because they have a coach that can see a niche for the guy and give him a chance to carve out minutes. Much like McGuire last year with Tapscott.

Pops controls the Spurs roster, he saw a guy that he could use to create some interesting matchup problems for opponents with, and he took him.

I think Flip & Ernie didn't view Blair the same way and he wouldn't have had the same opportunities here. So you can't take Blair's numbers in preseason and project them here. He might have just been the 15th guy on the roster.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 21, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

bullets8890, why don't you proofread your own post? In two sentences you managed the following: "nowadays," "come one," and "in like you." Seems like you need to pipe down, or find something else about which to post.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | October 21, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

"He continues to take awful shots, and the play at the end of the game demonstrates one of two things: unbridled selfishness or complete stupidity."

You're being way too tough on the young fella

Posted by: divi3 | October 21, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

bullets8890, like ZardsFan1 said your own post had mistakes so please don't point fingers.

Watching those last 8 or so minutes, I was reminded why our team was so horrible last year, and I was thankful that none of those five will start this year, and probably only blatche and young will even get playing time.

Posted by: tedunni1 | October 21, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

so G-man should we discount all of the good things our wizards have done in the pre season and just assume that it won';t translate into wins, last year they were a proven 19 win team. blair will be good, depending on mins he could have more of an impact for SA than McGee or Oberto does off the bench for us. I see no reason to knock Blair until he doesn't produce in the reg season, but right now he's got like 4 dub dubs in his last 5 games. i dunno if any wizard has done that preseason or otherwise.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 21, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Missed the game...but wasn't too thrilled with the postgame laughing of Nick Young. He never seems to take anything seriously.

Yes, I know it's preseason, but still....

Posted by: divi3 | October 21, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

What a mess. I actually wish I had seen this game. Hahaha.

-Lu Galasso

Posted by: Lu_Galasso | October 21, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The bench was doubled over laughing when McGee made his mistake because it was one that he NEVER should have made and they knew that he was going to get BLASTED! For those of you lobbying for McGee to start, you witnessed firsthand last night why he will not supplant Haywood this year. He's...not...ready. While I agree that he's unquestionalbly more talented than Haywood, he's absolutely clueless when it comes to making decisions with the ball in his hands, primarily, IMO, because his primary focus is scoring at any cost.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 21, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I think wizards fans have to be encouraged by this game, without three of our major minutes getters we were able to beat a philly squad that was featuring a full cast and the production from the wiz was spread throughout all ten guys that got on the floor, this is depth that our squad hasn't had until this year, mike james was very impressive

Posted by: bford1kb | October 21, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I noticed on the half time interview that Jamison did mention the fact that he has seen or spoken with many shoulder specialist all over (so he probably didnt only trust the wizards medical staff -- that's good).

Posted by: washwiz | October 21, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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