"LET THIS PLAY OUT ONE GAME AT A TIME"
Posted on January 14, 2013
by Mike Vogel
By Dave Johnson - The Voice of the Washington Wizards
Hey gang - yes the news about Gilbert Arenas being out two to three months with a knee injury is a bummer but not unexpected. It didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look good when it happened. As Eddie Jordan said they were hoping it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as bad as AntawnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s injury but it turned out to be worse. I know itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not good to have two all stars in street clothes but I am not ready to play the games in my head before the team actually plays them on the court.
Antawn Jamison may have said it best when he noted that the players have to believe they can still be a factor and personally I think they will believe.
This team has worked too hard for too long. From Richmond and training camp all the way through the marathon that is the NBA season. This yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wild ride even included a plane diversion to Duluth, Minnesota and four hour bus ride in a snow storm.
Clearly we saw some positives against Charlotte on Wednesday night. Antonio Daniels is a true point guard and he showed it with a career high 17 assists. Etan Thomas has answered Eddie JordanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s call since being put back in the starting line-up. Darius Songaila has just been fun to watch. His game is so simple and so effective. Jarvis Hayes is giving us flashes and if he can truly be consistent that will be a key. He works so hard on defense and really hits the boards.
The key here with Arenas out is that we are going to be a different team. We are not going to be looking to rack up 100 plus points and out score the opposition. We will manage the clock more. The question that will be answered over the final stretch: Can we remake ourselves in a hurry and be successful as a different team?
Donell Taylor is going to be a factor. He will be the back up at point to Antonio Daniels. He was inactive because Eddie JordanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s plan was to go with the veterans down the stretch. He could have made a difference against the Bobcats on Wednesday. When Antonio Daniels went out at the start of the fourth quarter the Bobcats went on a 10-2 run. Daniels came back and the Wizards went on an 8-0 run in 1:44. Taylor is also active on defense. One of his best games this year was against the Raptors in early January in Toronto. Eddie put him to see if he could be some kind of spark and he was. He was denying passesÃ¢â‚¬ ¦digging after balls and that helped trigger a 41 point fourth quarter that almost resulted in a come from behind win.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be a challenge. The Wizards are going to be different. The bottom line is we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to happen. The one predictable thing about this team is it is unpredictable. Three years ago in the playoffs I did not see us rallying to win the Bulls series. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see us going 3-1 on the December road trip this year with wins over the Suns and Lakers. And yes I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see us losing on the road in early March to a depleted Hawks team. So good or bad you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t predict this team but the effort is almost always there.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the oldest clichÃƒ © but I am just going to let this play out one game at a time. This team may help itself now or we may learn something about the future.
January 14, 2013
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