Well, there’s no pretty way to paint the loss the Wizards just suffered; this one was flat out ugly. It started off ugly with Caron Butler getting his first shot blocked and then missing his next four free throw attempts, continued with Andray Blatche, who has been playing pretty well as of late, going down, and then the exclamation point came as the third quarter came to a close.
Little 6-foot-1 Rajon Rondo was standing in the paint, caught a wide open pass and went straight up with no run-up and dunked on an unaware JaVale McGee, and then Ray Allen drilled a 3 just seconds later to put Boston up by 31 points.
The bad thing for the Wizards is they’re so shorthanded that it’s like unless they play basically a perfect game, they have no chance. They don’t have enough horses, don’t have enough experience, don’t have the offensive firepower, don’t have the defensive stoppers.
“Our margin for error is so, so small,” Caron Butler said dejectedly afterwards. “It was just a rough night at the office.”
Butler and Antawn Jamison were trying to remain positive after the game, but you can tell it’s getting harder and harder as each loss comes — especially thumpings after this one.
Jamison said he’s looking forward to Sunday’s game against Cleveland so the Wizards can get the taste of this loss out of their mouths. But he noted: “2009 is starting off just the way 2008 did, isn’t it?” Then he laughed and shook his head before adding, “But I don’t think there’s anything else that can happen [and paused to knock on the nearby wood of his locker] that’s worse than anything the last couple of season. We’ve just got to learn, just kinda say this is happening for a reason and this is the opportunity for some young guys to show us what they’ve got. It’s difficult now, but we’ve got to find a way to make it enjoyable and have fun while we’re out there.”
And although DeShawn Stevenson hasn’t been himself this season, and hasn’t appeared to provide much in the way of scoring at all, he’s another loss the Wizards didn’t need. At least he could come in and run the point and facilitate. Hopefully for the Wizards, Blatche can bounce back with some rest and treatment and get back for Sunday’s game.
And the company line from Ernie Grunfeld is that Gilbert Arenas is coming back, but the growing sentiment in the locker room that it’s not going to happen.
“It doesn’t look like anybody’s coming back this year,” one player said. “Nobody. I don’t think so. I’d be surprised.”