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Justin Dreyfuss's Weblog Posts

Go Time posted on 04/22/2008

Intensity is a word that has been and will be used very often to describe the current series between the Wizards and Cavs. In case you didn't get to watch the game last night, the second half resembled a college game, and for the most part, the entire game was downright brutal to watch if you are a Wizards fan. The team didn't look anything like the team that has been playing short-handed this entire year. Everyone seems to be worried, and playing like they have something to prove. Obviously they want to prove they are better than Cleveland, but they're only slight underdog's in this series if at all, so it's not like they need to dramatically improve their game to win like the Hawks need to do against the Celtics. They just need to stick with that they have been doing, being patient, finding the hot hand, moving the ball around in their swing offense, and playing good help defense. Almost none of these things are happening right now. Caron Butler seems intimidated, Antawn has suddenly fallen in love with the back of the rim, the big men are playing soft(that's not really new, but still an issue), and Gilbert and Deshawn are looking for foul calls. Butler is being guarded a lot of the time by the flat-footed Wally "World" Szerbiak, and is settling for jumpers. The few times he faced him and put the ball on the floor, Wally looked like he was wearing those big metal boots Sonic The Hedgehog used to be slowed down with. Antawn just seems to want it too much. He needs to let the game come to him instead of trying to force baskets when you have several other capable players on the team. The Wizards seem to play with much more level-heads when they play at home, and the entire team in general is a very emotional one, so Washington is going to need to have it's real fans come out for the homestand so that they can stand a shot at evening up this series for a shot to win it. If they don't feel the love, this series is over.

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Best Supporting Wizard - Casting Call posted on 04/15/2008

The play of Roger Mason last night(31 points), and throughout the season, has been incredibly encouraging if you are a wizards fan. The almost robotic form on his shot has led to him shooting 40% from downtown this year. He's already come up huge several games this year with clutch shooting, but more importantly, he may be the key to postseason success for the Wizards. The playoffs are unique because you have the best teams with the best players battling for ego supremacy and a championship. So unlike a majority of games when the dominant players on dominant teams can take over games and almost single-handedly carry their squads to victory, the playoffs allow for very little of that. Now, of course that doesn't mean never(how many times did Jordan just say "give me the ball" and the game was over, or when Lebron scored 25 of his teams last 29 points to beat the Pistons in the playoffs last year) but it does mean that it wont happen every game, or even a majority of games.

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Agent Zero is my Hero posted on 04/10/2008
First and foremost I’d like to extend a big thank you to the Boston Celtics for supporting my earlier post. Once again the Boston “Big Three” took on the D.C. “Big Three” and came up short. The Wizards are now the only team in the NBA to have beaten the Celtics three times. Which is all the more amazing since only 12 teams have beaten them even once. The Wizards alone account for nearly 20% of the Celtics losses.
 The Celtics had the upper hand in the first quarter as Paul Pierce was en fuego, but after the first twenty points the Celtics seemed to get away from their game plan. There were major stretches in both halves when both Garnett and Pierce were out, leaving Ray Allen to do most of the scoring, but he only managed 13 points the whole game thanks to DeShawn “Lockdown” Stevenson. Pierce had 14 of the team’s first 18 points, but then only 14 of the next 77 points. Boston head coach Doc Rivers seems to use the same forumla against the Wizards that works brilliantly on almost every other team, but the Wizards are a guard heavy team and can play with the undersized Celtics if they want to play small ball. If I’m Rivers, I’m making sure Garnett gets 25 shots at least, instead of only 16. I understand the balanced scoring, but against a team weak in the paint like the Wizards, everything should run through Garnett in the post, instead of the 17 footers he kept missing last night.

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The Home Stretch posted on 04/08/2008

I realize I'm joining the game a little late here, but at the risk of ending my career on this horrible cliche right now, better late than never. With only five games left and only four games separating spots 4-7 in the playoff race things are getting interesting. Unfortunately for the Wizards, 3 of the last 5 games are against the top 3 teams in the East, in decending order. After hosting Boston, they have to travel to Detroit and Orlando. And in between they  come back home to take on the streaking Sixers, right on the heels of the Wizards, led by Andre Igoudala who has been peeved since the all-star break when Dwight Howard got way more credit for doing the same dunk in the dunk contest that Igoudala did 2 years ago( http://youtube.com/watch?v=w6z9-l4hnMM). The funny part about this stretch is that for the Wizards the degree of diffculty goes up instead of down. As has been the propensity of the Wizards the last few years, they seem to excel against harder teams, such as Detroit, and struggle with the weaker ones, the Milwaukee Bucks.  Just look at how the Wizards have done against the top 3 teams they are soon to play.  The Wizards are 2-1 against the top seeded Celtics, 1-1 vs the second seeded Pistons, but 1-2 vs the third seed, Orlando. This is the reason winning the last few games is so important. The Wizards might stand a chance against Detroit and Boston(I can't believe I'm saying that) but if they lose a couple and trade places with the Sixers for 6th place to take on the Magic first round, Howard is going to Superman the Wizards like Soulja Boy.

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