Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Without Wall, Wizards fight hard, but lose to the Heat

Photo courtesy of
‘Wall Ascending the Sky’
courtesy of ‘Mylar Bono’

Defying the odds and most expectations, the Washington Wizards gave the star-studded Miami Heat a run for their money Wednesday night at the Verizon Center, twice cutting their deficit to one point early in the fourth quarter. But ultimately, the 94 total points scored by LeBron James (35 points), Dwyane Wade (33 points), and Chris Bosh (26 points) proved too much to overcome as the Heat (52-23) defeated the Wizards 123-107.

As heartening as the performance was by the Wizards (18-56), it’s hard not to wonder what might have happened if Washington’s star rookie point guard John Wall hadn’t gotten himself thrown out of the game with 8:48 to go in the first half and the Wizards leading 37-36.

The incident began innocuously enough, as Zydrunas Ilgauskas grabbed a loose ball at the top of the key and was defended by Wall. As Ilgauskas turned to face the basket, the Wizards rookie got right into the Lithuanian’s personal space, and Ilgauskas responded by nudging Wall twice with his right elbow. Wall took a futile swipe at the ball as Ilgauskas brought it over his head, an action which left the Miami man’s midsection exposed. As Wall turned to face up to Ilgauskas, television replays showed that the Kentucky alum pursed his lips, picked a spot, and let fly with a right cross to Ilgauskas’ ribs at the same instant that the 7-foot-3 center reached out with his left arm to shove Wall further back. Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Features

Wizards dig for ways to lose, dropped by Heat in final seconds

Photo courtesy of
‘Kirk Hinrich’
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

Drama of the magnitude seen on Saturday at Verizon Center does not often happen when the Wizards are involved.

First, Gilbert Arenas, the enigmatic scorer and chaotic former face of the franchise (hello John Wall) gets traded to Orlando. Then the feel-good story of beating LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the Heat after the histrionics of the afternoon gets snapped away in the final seconds as Washington blows a five-point lead with 18.4 seconds left to lose to Miami 95-94.

What it boils down to is that the young Wizards really have no idea how to close out a game.

And the Heat do.

“Get down the stretch and we did just about everything that you have to do wrong to lose a game and they did everything right,” head coach Flip Saunders said.

That just about sums it up.

Washington was in tenuous control over Miami for much of the game. The game was a see-saw that the Heat were never able to quite balance in their favor until the final seconds. The Wizards would go up by six or eight only to have Miami climb back to tie it before Washington would do it again. It looked like Washington had finally gotten the better of the Heat in the fourth period, jumping out to an 80-72 lead, a margin they would hold more or less until the final two minutes or so.

Then, as it so often is in the NBA, the drama started.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Lebron James at Josephine Wednesday night

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Lebron James is probably the second or third most popular living NBA player. He’s in town on Wednesday night with the Cavs, as they take on the Wizards. And, if you want to tell him how much he sucks/rocks, he’ll be at Josephine after the game to host a party. Now, he’ll probably have his whole fifteen-person entourage with him, so Wizards fans might want to take a few friends if they wanted to send Mr. James a message.