Gilbert's Arena

Sunday, April 09, 2006

No Rest for the Weary

After a beating at the hands of the Miami Heat on Saturday night (Box Score), a banged up Wizards squad could use a few days of rest. Unfortunately, the schedule isn't going to cooperate, as we have a 4-game week ahead. We're on the road all week: Monday at Philly, Wednesday at Milwaukee, and Friday at Chicago. And on Sunday, we return home for the Cavs.

Antonio Daniels returned on Saturday from his wrist injury, but Caron Butler was still inactive, and Etan Thomas took AD's place on the bench with a back injury. Etan could be out up to a week, and Butler hopes to play on Monday night. Gilbert reported before the game that he was only at "35%", and he couldn't bend over or jump off his right foot, but he still came out and put up a typical Gilbert performance. Just like in the Atlanta game though, the problem was Antawn Jamison. Antawn was 2 for 11 in the first half, and finished with just 8 points. We're not going to win a lot of games with Butler on the bench and Antawn scoring 8 points, even when AD drops 25.

Two things really bothered me about this game:
  1. It was our 16th consecutive loss to the Heat! That's 3 regular season sweeps and a playoff sweep. We've taken down the Pistons and the Spurs this year, so why can't we beat the Heat? Is it just a mental thing at this point? Are they in our heads? Or do we just have no answer for Shaq? Watching Yao Ming have his way with us in Houston a few weeks ago makes me think that we just can't compete against a team with a dominant Center. Luckily only Houston and Miami have one.
  2. Dwyane Wade was a non-factor. If we can't play with the Heat when Wade is sick and in foul trouble, how we will we ever be able to hang with them come playoff time? Wade reportedly had a touch of the flu on Saturday, and he even skipped the shootaround and warmups to rest. When he did play, he was in foul trouble the whole game and only logged 21 minutes. Unfortunately, we let back-up SG Derek Anderson come off the bench and nail 5 wide-open threes. Anderson hadn't scored 20 points in a game since November 23 when he was a Houston Rocket. That's just unacceptable.
Luckily for the Wizards, Milwaukee and Indiana continued to struggle this weekend. Both teams lost on Sunday, and the Zards maintain a 2.5 game lead on the Bucks with 6 games to play. A strong week could clinch us the 5th playoff spot and allow us to rest some of our banged up guys for the last 2 games to get ready for the playoffs.


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