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Wizards find their rhythm
Question of the Day
Those sitting courtside at Verizon Center can expect to hear the latest Gilbertism from Gilbert Arenas in the coming days, weeks and months.
And when Arenas is rolling, as he was in the Washington Wizards 121-109 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats last night, they’re going to hear it a lot.
“Hibachi” — as in the mini grill most have packed away for the summer — is the latest lingo coming out of “Agent 0.” When he lets a shot fly and he feels good about it, Arenas yells it loud enough for anyone to hear, and last night many fans heard him saying it, although Charlotte’s Brevin Knight, a former Wizards player, could hear it best.
That’s because Knight had the assignment of stopping the previously poor-shooting Arenas and was pretty much helpless. Arenas, 34-for-102 from the field in his previous five games, scored 33 points on 11-for-20 shooting last night in front of 18,853. He also handed out 10 assists to help give Washington its second two-game winning streak of the season.
“It’s a new name Gilbert is calling himself when he shoots,” said the Wizards’ Caron Butler, who chipped in with 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting. “It’s just something he says every time he shoots. It’s loud enough for everyone to hear him. Whenever Gilbert talks everyone hears him.”
Arenas explained the reason for his new saying.
“I’ve been shooting the ball a lot and shooting it pretty well in practice,” he said. “So that’s what I’ve been calling my shot, just like the grill because that’s what my shot’s like. I was feeling it a little bit tonight. So welcome to the era of the Hibachi.
“I stole it from Brendan [Haywood], so I’m going to put a patent on it so nobody can use it,” Arenas continued. “I just told Brendan to change it to barbecue grill.”
However, last night almost everyone wearing a Washington jersey made a contribution of some sort.
Antawn Jamison added 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
All five of Washington’s starters scored in double figures. DeShawn Stevenson finished with 11 points and Etan Thomas added 10.
“It was a total effort by everyone,” said coach Eddie Jordan, whose Wizards made 54.8 percent of their field goals (46-for-84). “There were a lot of contributors. Our bench played well, which is something we’ve been sort of lacking a little bit. It was just a scoring fest in the first half where nobody could stop anyone.”
Both teams made 59 percent of their field goals in a first half that ended with the game tied 63-63. However, as the Wizards made their way back to the locker room, assistant Mike O’Koren told Jordan that he didn’t think that the Bobcats could keep up that shooting clip.
And he was right. The Bobcats shot just 8-for-20 in the third quarter while the Wizards stayed hot, making 12 of 20. In the process the Wizards upped the lead to 86-74 with 4:31 left.
“They just came out at the start of the second half and started missing,” Jordan said of the Bobcats. “Mike said he didn’t think they could keep up that type of pace and he was right.”
In the fourth quarter the Bobcats cut what had been a 17-point lead to 114-108 on a Gerald Wallace dunk with just more than two minutes remaining. But all the Bobcats could convert the rest of the game was a free throw as the Wizards won comfortably.
Rookie Adam Morrison led the Bobcats (4-12) with 23 points. Knight added 22 points and a team-high nine assists.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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