Washingon Wizards

I’m Free!

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I’m a free agent now. I can make my own decision where I want to play. Let’s see who’s offering me a contract!

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Trial, Error and Frustration

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A couple more games under my belt, and they were just a run of  frustration. First up, the Pistons at home.

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The Playoff Breakthrough

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I was on my game against New Orleans and unfortunately for Chris Paul, I was going to the rim with a vengeance.

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The Anchor

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When I mentioned last post that Wade being hurt would allow LeBron to be LeBron, I forgot that that involved him dominating the basketball. His skill in that area was evident in the last two games, but it wasn’t my biggest concern.

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Running the Table

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I’ve run through the ‘winnable stretch’ of games I’ve mentioned before, so here’s a rapid low-down on the results.

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Welcome to Opening Night

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Gametime, game one of the 2011-12 season. I came in with a new look and ready as hell to face the Wizards at home in Miami.

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After a blistering first quarter that saw me net 9 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists before taking a seat, I came back off the bench midway through the 2nd and hooked up with Dwyane Wade for an alley-oop.

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Hey, I didn’t say who caught the lob, did I?

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I love this screenshot! I can almost hear the Unreal Tournament announcer now: “Godlike!”

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Score! The game labeled this a ‘dunk’ I my post-game report. Right.

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I was torrid I that first half and had us clicking on all cylinders. And then the 2nd half started. The Wizards got hot, we went cold, and found ourselves down in a hurry.

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I went a little cold, but the problem was made worse by them letting Mario Chalmers handle the ball and putting me at shooting guard most of the second half. Chalmers would not pass me the ball, under any circumstances. I think he’s mad I got his starting job.

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Wade tried to get us back in the game late, hitting a few threes off dishes from me and slamming back a Chris Bosh miss. However, he and I share the credit for how the game wrapped up. We were down three with 30 seconds or so left in the game. Wade had the ball on the left wing so I cut around him to the basket. He bounced me the ball…

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… and I bumped John Wall before securing it and let it roll out of bounds. After an intentional foul and two made freebies, we were down 5. Wade was to inbound the ball, but apparently nobody told him.

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The stupid ass stood there and just took a 5-second inbound penalty! What the heck?! I don’t care if you have to lob it full court: you can’t take that penalty. Game over.

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I finished the game with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, but three turnovers I hit 2-6 threes, but one of those was a desperation heave at the end of the game. Wade also scored 18 and added 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks but four turnovers. LeBron added 13-2-2-2, but Bosh may as well have stayed home. I’m amazed at how we fell apart so quickly after that quick start. Man, I hope this isn’t a bad omen.

- Rick Daniel

Attack of the Rebound Monster

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I entered our latest game at home against the Wizards hoping that last game was not going to linger. It didn’t.

I had 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals – after the first quarter. I really, really wanted a double-double since I was already at 5 rebounds (I was confident I could easily break 10 points). At halftime I had 11 points (there’s half of the double-double!), 6 boards, and the same 1 assist and 2 steals.

As the game wore on, it was close the whole way. We’d go up one, they’d go up one, and I noticed that my desire for the double-double was hurting my play. I was so obsessed with rebounds that I wasn’t playing as well as I could. I finally decided, at 8 rebounds, that I needed to forget the double-double and try and help win the game.

I snared a ninth rebound with under a minute to go, which got me excited about the double-double all over again. However, time was running out and the Wizards had started fouling to stop the clock (we had the lead) so there weren’t going to be many – if any – more chances for a rebound. Washington got the ball with 15 seconds left and Gilbert Arenas took a quick three. The board bounced up, I jumped for it, and a scrum occurred for the board.

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I had it, I had it! Double-double! I was so psyched that I forgot how much time was left and started to run a play at the other end before it dawned on me that the game was effectively over.

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I finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals with only 1 turnover on 46% shooting. I’m playing as well as I ever have, averaging 17 ppg, 5 rpg and 2.5 apg in the last six contests.

Look out, NBA.

- Rick Daniel

The Wizards, the Mavericks, and My Myopia

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We played the Wizards of Capital Hill the other day, and it was a really frustrating affair. We entered the 4th quarter up by seven, but were outscored in the final period by 14. We had absolutely no defense during the fourth quarter. I didn’t score well overall, with just three points to go with two rebounds and three assists, but I didn’t turn the ball over, either.

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The Mavericks would get the brunt of our frustrations. We took an early 17-8 lead after a 15-0 run in the first quarter and never looked back. I scored 10 points, including two first half three pointers. Yes! I’d been missing so bad recently that I was ready to stop shooting them. You know the type of shot I mean, the ones that look like they have a chance to kill a small child in the stands when the player shoots it, they’re so off course? That kind. In fact, look at my expression here in this next picture. I think it says it all.

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“Ok, I know the basket’s out there somewhere, I just can’t see it. Where did I put my glasses?”

I also contributed 2 rebounds and six assists against the Mavs, but turned he ball over twice. I’m currently averaging 6.6 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game this season. In the last six matchups, I’m averaging 9.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. I’m getting better as the year goes along.

In other news I’m looking at the polls on the side of the page, and I see that there’s no consensus yet on what player I should make, other than ‘big.’ As for the how I’m doing, we have one for ‘OK,’ one for “pretty bad,’ and one for ‘why isn’t he in the NBADL?’. I think that pretty much sums up my feelings so far, too. I’ll have an ok game, a pretty bad game, and then I’ll have a whale of a stinker. I tend to think of myself as the Andy Marte of the Miami Heat. For those of you who don’t follow the Cleveland Indians, he’s their struggling third baseman that they’ve tried to play for the last four years. He’s hitting under .225 for his career and can be a defensive nightmare at times (three errors in the first inning of one game this year), and yet they keep on playing him, even trading or demoting other, sometimes better players to find him time, hoping he’ll become something because he’ll occasionally show signs of promise. Personally, I’m convinced he’s some high ranking front-office big-wig’s personal pet project. Every time he starts I get frustrated at him being forced upon the fan base despite his lack of performance.  This comes back to me of course, with the Heat starting me rather then Carlos Arroyo while Wade was hurt and demoting Mario Calmers to the NBADL to find me playing time. I can only imagine how the fans feel about me by now.

- Rick Daniel

Trio of Triumphs

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A couple more games down, and a new milestone or two accomplished. Game one was a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. I had 4 points, 1 board and 4 assists this game, including the pass you see above to LBJ  for a slam. Not a great game, but not terrible either.

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The next game against the Mavs in Dallas was a poor effort by me. We won but I only scored 2 points with a rebound and an assist on 1-5 shooting. I just didn’t play well at all, and for that matter spent most of the game as a 5th wheel on the court, totally uninvolved in the action.

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The next game was against the Wizards at home, and I decide early on that I was going to be more aggressive. I ended up with 10 points, 4 rebounds, an assist and a block. Two of my points came on an alley-oop play.

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Mike Miller tossed me the ball at the rim and I laid that sucker right in. Yay! It was totally unplanned and completely unexpected, but it was cool. My first alley-oop score!

Another milestone was hit in the 4th quarter of the Wizards game. For whatever reason, our coach decided that since the game was locked up that I could be moved to small forward with 2:37 to go in the 4th. I didn’t have any particular issues with it and no one scored on me during this time, but it was funny. I know I’m kind of big for a point guard (6’2, 215 lbs) but I’m not that big. Maybe he’s taking ‘small’ forward a little too literally.

- Rick Daniel

The Perfect Storm

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Warning: a prefect storm brewed up in the Washington, D.C. area tonight. Ingredient 1: a wave of frustration after my lackluster performance against the Pistons. Ingredient 2: a surge of confidence knowing we were facing the lowly Wizards. Ingredient 3: Absolutely zero fronting on behalf of the Wizards themselves. The result? I went off.

I had 17 points after the first quarter, and 25 points, eight assists after the first half. Two minutes into the third quarter, I had my elusive double-double. I wrapped up the game with 43 points, 11 assists and four steals on 75% shooting, including 3-4 from deep. I simply could not miss. Allot of my points came from the field, between mid-range and the three point line. I may never have a game like this again, so I made sure to enjoy it.

Defensively I was as solid as I’ve ever been. Gilbert Arenas scored one basket on me all game, a desperation heave of a three. He ended the game 1-12 with two turnovers.

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It wasn’t a really flashy game by me, but I was so hot no one could touch me. Here’s hoping I can remain a fraction as fired up as the season wraps up! We’ve got six games left and we end the year against those dastardly Cavs. Go Magic!

- Rick Daniel

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