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Wizards lose another close one

Bobcats 94, Wizards 92

How would you view the Wizards if Antawn Jamison's last-second, underhand scoop shot had dropped in Charlotte on Tuesday night? If Caron Butler's hijacked final play against Dallas had ended with him making that shot over Shawn Marion? If Gilbert Arenas had made those two free throws in overtime against Indiana? Or he had been able to zip around Sacramento's Tyreke Evans instead of losing his dribble?

The Wizards are 6-13 in games decided by five points or fewer, but where would they be if those results were reversed? If the Wizards were 24-26 right now instead of 17-33 heading into the all-star break, would you consider them a resilient bunch that was able to withstand a season filled with tragedy and tumult?

Maybe. But it doesn't matter. The fact remains that as close as the Wizards have come to having a better record, they rarely have been able to produce in the clutch. That is a clear example of what has plagued this team through the first half of the season. They simply cannot close.

"A lot of times what happens, it hurts not having a go-to guy like Gilbert," Coach Flip Saunders said after the Wizards lost 94-92 to Charlotte after Raymond Felton made a fallawy jumper with 1.9 seconds remaining.

The Wizards had Arenas through the first 32 games, but they were just 3-10 in games decided by five or fewer points. Of course, Arenas wasn't fully healthy at the start of the season, which led to so many difficult losses. If you can point to the time of the year where the Wizards' season broke for the worse, it came in early December, when they lost, 109-107, in overtime to Toronto as Arenas missed a point-blank layup. Before that game, the Wizards had won four out of five and improved to 7-10. But that loss set of a string of six consecutive losses by a combined 14 points.

"It's disappointing because those are the games at the end of the season that haunt you," Brendan Haywood said. "We've had 13 close games that we've lost. If you even split those, you're in the playoffs. It's disappointing because these are the games that we need to win, but losing them is keeping us out of contention for the eighth seed in the East."

Add those tough losses to a season that has already seen Abe Pollin die and Arenas suspended for the final 50 games and you have a team that is sorely in need of a break. "It'll be good to get away and just do things with our family and children and come back with a clear head," DeShawn Stevenson said. "A lot people been through a lot of stuff this season. It's going to be a good chance to get away from it."

Since nothing ever goes smoothly for the Wizards, they weren't even able to make it out of Charlotte on Tuesday, with the team plane grounded because of bad weather in the D.C. area. Most of the players and coaches made do and bought tickets to their respective homes out of Charlotte. It was ideal, but it was what they had to do.

The Wizards will have a full week off and won't practice until next Tuesday, then play a game on Wednesday against Minnesota. With 32 games left in the season, Mike Miller said the Wizards can't be concerned about being competitive or close.

"I only care about results," he said. "We got to be ready to play when we come back. We've got a lot of ground to make up."

By Michael Lee  |  February 10, 2010; 12:03 AM ET
 
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Comments

The Wizards are 6-13 in games decided by five points or fewer, but where would they be if those results were reversed? If the Wizards were 24-26 right now instead of 17-33 heading into the all-star break, would you consider them a resilient bunch that was able to withstand a season filled with tragedy and tumult?

Sure, but they aren't!

They are a bunch of selfish losers with no heart, they don't care about playing as a team, playing "D", passing the ball to get an open shot, working hard to out hustle the other team, rebounding and blocking out, taking a charge, and playing the game the way James Naismith had invisioned it to be played!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 10, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

"A lot of times what happens, it hurts not having a go-to guy like Gilbert," Coach Flip Saunders said

What?

Like they were winning with him.

Flip is a joke people, his spin on his bad coaching is better than any politician in DC, yes even Marion Barry?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 10, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

DeShawn Stevenson said. "A lot people been through a lot of stuff this season. It's going to be a good chance to get away from it."

What a tough life you guys live?

People in real life are getting laid off, having their homes foreclosured on them and losing health benifits.

Gee maybe they should just take a couple of days off and get away from it?

Maybe if you guys would play a little harder, quit being overpaid jerks and listen to your coach, life wouldn't be so hard!

Please, stay away.

I would prefer the Wizards forfeit the rest of the games.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 10, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Wizards will trade away Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood to get back Al Harrington, and fillers/picks/cash.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AuOtkInairoIr.NWz8vP.NEtPKB4?slug=ys-mcgradyrockets020910&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Posted by: arenasmvp | February 10, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Jamison missed a bunny on the second to last possession. But what's new? He's been missing clutch free throws since his days as a tarheel, so it's nothing new for him to blow a wide open layup to put his team ahead.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | February 10, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

The margin was at the line: the Cats shot 7 more and hit four of them.

One thing worth noting: the Wiz guards, Foye and Miller, played most of the game and finished with zero turnovers. Of course Butler had 5... still, the Cats play defense on the perimeter, and the low number of TOs has to be commended.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The Wiz always could get a few players hot with their shooting touch and make many games close. Same thing during their four year playoff runs. Everybody used that as a way to ignore the other poor fundamentals they displayed. EG kind of poked his chest out about the imfamous "best record @all-star break"

Im not frontin, I was happy too, but I also wondered why every game was close. Good teams or bad. You could count on one hand the amount of games the Wiz put somebody away, and GET THE BENCH SOME PT???
PLEASE!!!

All that said I think they need to start being thorough and stop only looking for positives to be proud about. I know people will call you a spoil sport or negative but it's all about trying to be the best.

Posted by: gmac78 | February 10, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"All that said I think they need to start being thorough and stop only looking for positives to be proud about. I know people will call you a spoil sport or negative but it's all about trying to be the best.Posted by: gmac78"

I don't think you could argue that folks around here are too positive about the Wiz. We're more likely to err on the opposite side.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@arenasmvp,

I hope that report is wrong. The last thing the Wizards need is another 'tweener.

Posted by: and_1 | February 10, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

The report also said the complicated 3-team deal was in the discussion phase and

"For the Wizards’ part, they would still need another player, as well as a draft pick and cash to make this a workable scenario, sources said."

Posted by: cannontl | February 10, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

That rumor is a joke. We're really going to trade Butler (suddenly back from the dead) and Haywood (having a solid year despite all the negative junk on this blog) for Jamison 2.0??? No way. I guarantee that trade would instantly make us worse than the Nets. It would just be a layup line on both ends -- no passing, no defense, no steals, no blocks.

Posted by: Urnesto | February 10, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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