The Wizards beat the Hornets

Published: February 26, 2008

DeShawn Stevenson delivered the final dagger with his buzzer-beating three-pointer tonight. That shot cost the Hornets a game they simply did not deserve to win. There we were, at full health, just two days removed from being on top of the Western Conference, playing a sub-500 team missing a pair of All-Stars, and we're tied with seven seconds left.

Stevenson's gamer was justice served.

Bonzi Wells and Tyson Chandler, losing to the Wizards

Half-asleep game notes…

  • Final score was 95-92 ( box | recap | standings ), with Stevenson's pull-up three from the wing proving to be the difference. He was on fire all night. Morris Peterson couldn't stop him, Mike James couldn't stop him, not even the buzzer could stop him. Dude dropped a career-high 33 points on 11-21 shooting. Good game, kid.
  • Mo-Pete got creamed on what I believe was a Brendan Haywood screen near mid-court on that last play. Solid pick. Peja Stojakovic came over to try challenge the final shot, but seemed to forget to put his hands up.
  • We did a lot of shit badly in this game, but the free throw shooting was probably the worst. We shot 12-of-22 overall. Mo-Pete bricked two big ones with about four minutes remaining. Hilton Armstrong did the same with seven seconds left, but got bailed out with an Antawn Jamison lane violation and got to retake the second, making it that time. That tied the game and set up Stevenson's winner.

    I never like to blame one guy for missing shots and costing us a game, and this time is no different. But man, as a team we've gotta do better than that from the line. As horrible as we played, we still could have won just by knocking down the easy ones.

  • Peterson was about the only guy that I can say played a nice overall game tonight. He started off hot and finished with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting, along with 7 boards. I'm not sure why Byron Scott decided to bench him for 15 minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters. Mike James and Jannero Pargo weren't doing anything special out there.
  • Our final offense was baffling, too. We're down one, with 0:14 left and coming out of a timeout. Surely we burn some clock with Chris Paul out high then go for the last shot, right?

    Instead, the plan seemed to be to give ourselves a couple of chances at it by going early. Chris drove, got crowded, and barely found Hilton to setup those free throws. Meanwhile, Peja, who has proven to be somewhat of a heroic genius in these late game situations, was stuck in the corner with nothing resembling a pick over there to free him up.

    Decoy? Stupidity? You decide.

  • I thought West played a decent game. Our help defense was actually pretty tight in the first half, and he was a big reason why. The Wiz got most of their points in the early quarters by draining jumpers; they didn't get anything much inside until later.
  • West did of course see the double teams again. Plenty of them. I've begun to wonder if the other guys are communicating well enough out there, telling West that the doubles are coming. He always seems to get caught off guard, and has to scramble to pick up his dribble and find an open teammate.
  • One more thing about D-Weezy: I really wish he'd stop hesitating on his jumper. I thought he'd beat that habit back in January, but it's crept back into his game.
  • Wiz rookie Nick Young got some burn tonight. You may remember him as the kid a lot of folks said we should have selected ahead of Julian Wright in the draft last year. Young had 8 points in 14 minutes, 3-of-5 shooting. He also played some real pesky defense on CP when they matched up for a stretch in the second quarter. Pretty impressive.

    Definitely can't call that Hornets draft decision a mistake this soon, but Nick would probably be helping us a lot more than Julian right now. Then again, Byron might have Nick buried on the bench, too.

  • Chris had some nice numbers: 22 points, 10-of-14 from the field, 8 assists and 2 steals. He did have four turnovers though, and he seemed to be fumbling the rock a lot more than usual out there. This was also a game where we really needed him to just grab it by the balls and take that shit over. It's a lot to ask, sure, but that's what being a franchise guy is all about. Plus, he's done it numerous times before.
  • We had 16 turnovers total tonight, which Washington converted into 26 points. You know, it seemed as if we managed to mess up in every facet of the game during one stretch or another. We'd go a few minutes where we were allergic to rebounds, then some where we couldn't pass the ball, and after that we'd forget how to play defense for a while. Often times we'd do several things really bad all at once. You know, just to see how that would work out.
  • Bonzi Wells started real well with a nasty baseline dunk over some poor Wizard. It was all downhill after that.
  • The halftime show was the Jesuit High School Jazz Band. Not bad, but why weren't they on stilts?
  • Peja had a miserable game. He seemed frustrated early because he wasn't getting many touches, but as the game went on he got some wide open looks and just couldn't connect. He did hit a massive triple to put us up three with just over a minute left, which is why I believe we should have been looking for him again at the death. Whatever. He finished the night with 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
  • Tyson, Tyson, Tyson. I don't know, man. 16 fouls in three games? I'll agree that the refs were pretty woeful out there tonight (on both ends) and you got unlucky with a few calls, but there's no denying that you've been dragging since the break. I thought the All-Star snub would light a fire under you, but I've yet to see even a spark.
  • The attendance was down a little tonight, as you'd expect. Monday night, lowly opponent. 11,289 there to see the misery.
  • Play of the night: Pargo's halfcourt heave to beat the third quarter buzzer. That put us up six, and helped get folks back to their happy faces for a while. Inflatable Hugos then took to the court and danced funky to the usual tunes as David West bopped along on the sideline.
  • There was talk in the comments after the last two games about too much one-on-one in the Hornets offense. I don't think it was as bad tonight, but we were disgustingly stagnant. I don't think I saw a screen or a cut from the weak side all game. Much of our offense seemed to rely on the pick and roll, which unfortunately only includes 40% of the team.

Oh well. The good news is that both Dallas and San Antonio won tonight, and our next two games are against Phoenix and Utah. Methinks I feel all warm and tingly inside. Oh no wait. That's just me about to throw up in my mouth.

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