The Wizards put on their strongest performance of the season, posting eight double-digit scorers and outdoing the Bulls in every major statistical category to earn a 113-90 victory Friday.
As Ed Tapscott said “Clearly having the President here and having the buzz from the crowd all led into a feeling that we fed off of.”
The Wizards had the crisp ball movement, solid ball containment and aggressiveness that they have lacked far too often in this 14-44 season. The Wizards had 21 assists opposed to 11 turnovers, outrebounded the Bulls 53-37 and outscored them 29-19 on second-chance points.
Said Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro: “We didn’t come out with any urgency or toughness in the beginning of teh game. I felt as if we did not get off to a good start. We really didn’t get into a rhythm. Jamison, Butler and Young really hurt us. McGee also came in and hurt us. … They killed us on the glass and in many other aspects. They just played better than us.”
One of the most impressive players of the night was Dominic McGuire, who continues to prove he can be a player in this league, pulling down 11 rebounds, handing out four assists, scoring 10 points and posting three blocks. I asked him about his impressive passing tonight, which on more than one occasion led to highlight worthy plays for Jamison and Butler.
“I take pride in my passing,” Dom said. “I used to play quarterback, so I have great court vision and see things before they happen, so that’s why it works.”
Dom on his big block on Tim Thomas early in the fourth quarter: “I probably caught him by surprise. I messed up my wrist on that. I thought I had him the next time also, but he said it was a foul, but I didn’t think so.”
Dom on his versatility, which is starting to serve the Wizards well: “I try to focus on my all-around game and not just be one-dimensional. There are a lot of scorers in this league, so if you can do other things, you’ll stick around. I’ve always been a versatile player, now I’m getting the minutes to show what I can do, so that’s the biggest thing and just going out there and playing with confidence.”
Caron on playing in front of the President: “Just to see him out there, interacting with everybody, he truly is a die-hard Bulls fan. Hopefully we can convert him a little bit. It was just a special moment, not only for my family, my teammates and the organization, just to see the President here. It was just a special moment. And I didn’t want the ball to be thrown up until he got there because I didn’t wanna miss it. [there was a three-minute delay for the tip-off waiting for Obama to arrive]. I told the refs, let’s just warm up some more. Let’s stall. You wanna play tic-tac-toe just to kill time? It was just special. I was truly nervous for the first time in my career to have the President over there. I’m sure my daughter will be talking about it.”