Want a picture that tells you everything you need to know about
the Washington Wizards Generals? Well, here you go.
The Washington Wizards Generals: I'm not going to sugarcoat this: The Wizards Generals got their asses kicked so hard that Nike could use their butts as shoe molds. I've seen coffee shop floor mats with fewer footprints on them. Based on what I witnessed last night, this Generals squad could give "roll over and die" lessons to Vince Carter...who was in his standard "I'm great in nearly meaningless regular season games against crap teams" mode (18 points, 8-for-12, 5 boards).
Unlike the Celtics, the Magic apparently take lesser teams pretty seriously. To wit: Washington shot 37 percent (compared to Orlando's 55 percent), got outrebounded 53-25 (including 11-3 on the offensive glass) and was outscored 56-28 in the colored rectangle.
The Magic led by as many as 35 points before settling for a 112-83 win. Now imagine how lopsided the final score would have been if Orlando hadn't missed 14 free throws and given up 29 points of 21 turnovers.
Dwight Howard's foul shooting: The line: 9-for-19. Roughly the same number most guys in my pickup league could hit by accident.
John Wall: As Basketbawful reader LotharBot pointed out, Wall had a Calvin Murphy in his debut with 14 points and 9 assists. Sure, a lot of those points and assists were racked up during garbage time, but it's still a decent debut. Right? I mean, check out this killer crossover:
I'll say this much: The kid's a shooter. And by "shooter" I don't mean that Wall provides consistent, high-percentage, long-range jump shooting. I mean he apparently loves shooting the Eddy Curry loves Twinkies. Wall jacked up 11 of his team's first 24 shot attempts. He it three of 'em. Wall -- who, I should remind you, is Washington's starting point guard -- finished 6-for-19 on a night in which none of his teammates attempted more than nine shots.
The best part? Wall's first NBA points came off a goal tend by Brandon Bass.
But hey, I guess that's what happens when rookies are mentored by Gilbert Arenas. Speaking of which...
Gilbert Arenas: After missing most of the past three seasons due to injury and suspension, Mr. "I signed a contract for only $111 million to help my team" Arenas missed the game with strained blah blah blah in his blah blah blah. Does it really matter what's wrong with Gil this time? His contract was a bigger waste of time and money than Eddy Curry's copy of P90X.
Andray Blatche: Last year's late-season fantasy stud was a fantasy turd in his season debut: 6 points on 2-for-9 shooting to go with 2 boards, 2 dimes, a steal, 2 turnovers and 4 fouls. Man, I sure hope nobody around here has Blatche on their fantasy team...
Jason Williams: William's performance last night is forcing me to seriously consider giving out a "Worst Player of the Night" award in these posts. His line: 8 minutes, zero points, zero rebounds, 1 assist, zero steals, zero blocked shots, 3 turnovers, 1 personal foul, 2 technical fouls, 1 automatic ejection.
Of course, he still had a better plus-minus score (-2) than John Wall (-31).
John Wall, quote machine, Part 1: "It was tough. It's really telling me what I need to work on, but I already know."
John Wall, quote machine, Part 2: "But as a team aspect, we have a lot we need to work on."
Marcin Gortat, mildly broken English quote machine: "Honestly, I'm sick of listening every hour about Miami -- Miami that, how great they are, how big they are, what kind of record they gonna have. I get every day interviews back in Poland, people calling me about Miami, Miami, what you think about Miami? What you think about Big Three? I'm going to say the same thing: they are a great team, they have three superstars, they got a couple good role players on the team. They looking good on the paper, but they got to start winning."
Stan Van Gundy, quote machine: "You guys can decide what's a big game and what's not. If they give me two wins for tomorrow night, then it's a big game. I'm not big on the human-interest stories."
The Utah Jazz: Oh dear God. After receiving the scorched earth treatment in their season-opening 110-88 loss to Nuggets in Denver, the Jazz came home and got donkey-punched 110-94 by the Work-in-Progress Suns.
It's enough to make John Stockton's gonads shrivel up in his short-shorts.
The sad part of this loss is that Utah is HUGE compared to Phoenix. Hence the stat-paddery by Paul Milsap (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Al Jefferson (20 points, 9 boards). But the Jazz pulled down only one more total rebound and their Offensive Rebound Percentage (30.4) was barely better than the Suns' (27.9). Shooting 42 percent from the field and 3-for-13 on threes didn't help either.
Oh, and then there was the transition D, which gave up 20 fast break points.
This team definitely hasn't gelled yet. In fact, they're more of a gritty paste.
Anyway, Williams was crap in Utah's season opener (3-for-10, 6 assists, 4 turnovers, 4 fouls) and he was crappity crap last night: 13 points on 3-for-12 shooting, 6 assists, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls and a plus-minus score of -16. The only Jazz player with a worse plus-minus was freaking Gordon Hayward (-17).
The obvious lesson: Never proclaim yourself the best [whatever] in the league.
Raja Bell: The Jazz signed Bell to (partially) replace Kyle Korver's shooting. Well, that wasn't happening last night, as Bell missed nine of his 12 shot attempts and went 1-for-5 from downtown.
Steve Nash, captain obvious: "Hakim [Warrick] was great on the glass and hustled. He finished and got to the line. He did a lot of little things that matter. But he also scored, and when he can do that, it makes us a better team."
So when a teammate can score, it makes you a better team? It's like Nash just gave my brain an assist. Thanks, Steve!
Steve Nash, the voice of realism: "We haven't got the chemistry yet and there are no shortcuts. It just takes time. You got to find the understanding and be unselfish and conscious of the other players on the team. But there is no easy formula."
In keeping with the recent overreactions to Nash quotes: STEVE NASH SAYS SUNS HAVE NO CHEMISTRY!!!!
Paul Milsap, quote machine, Part 1: "Things are not going our way."
Paul Milsap, quote machine, Part 2: "We've got to continue to stay with it. I mean we've got to continue to get better."
Paul Milsap, quote machine, Part 3: "We got punched in the mouth twice in our first two games."
Lacktion report: Chris had an easy but fulfilling night of lacktion reporting:
Bullets-Magic: Hilton Armstrong makes his first reservation in the lacktion ledger by countering one successful charity stripe shot (and two assists) in 11:14 with 5 fouls and two giveaways for a 7:3 Voskuhl. Hamady N'Diaye armed himself with a pair of fouls in 3:40 for his first ever suck differential, a +2 that also counted as a 2:0 Voskuhl!