- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 15, 2001

Michael Jordan made his first three field goal attempts against the Bucks last night.
Then he missed his next three.
That qualifies as improvement after he missed his first 14 attempts in the previous game.
Jordan finished with 31 points, and the Wizards seemed finished in spirit after the second quarter against the Bucks.
The final: Bucks 107, Wizards 98.
It was two games in one, and two teams in one, the bad Wizards and the good Wizards. Each played 24 minutes. The bad team won.
No shot at victory goes with Jordan's temperamental shot.
His was no shot in the dark against the Bucks, the first time in eight games he has reached 50 percent.
Jordan converted 12 of 24 field goal attempts following the 5-for-26 ball and chain. The competence mattered only in the terms of the surrender. It still was a nine-point loss.
stuff eventually might be in order for all those involved, excluding Jahidi White. His hands are shaky enough.
The team's losing streak is up to five games, the team's record down to 2-6, and there is not a breather in sight. The Jazzmen are next. Even with their arteries hardening by the minute, the Jazzmen are a load for a team that is sometimes spent by halftime.
Anthony Mason is a chump compared to Karl Malone, and Mason merited double-team attention against what passes as a frontcourt for the home team.
The home team was down by 17 points at halftime, the crowd stirred enough to boo. Tyronn Lue looked lost. There was no Allen Iverson to shadow. That is Lue's one trick, two if you count how he spells Tyronn.
Lue committed two fouls and two turnovers in seven minutes. Doug Collins seemed to let Lue cook longer than necessary. Maybe there was a message in there: You're a shooting guard stuck in a point guard's body, we're down a bunch, and we have 74 games to go. Pass the Advil.
"A nightmare second quarter," Collins said.
The Bucks have considerable star power, at least by Eastern Conference standards, starting with head shrink George Karl. With each passing season, Karl looks more like John Lithgow than John Lithgow himself.
Ray Allen is the real actor among the Bucks, not counting Mason, always a threat to appear on Court TV. Allen played opposite Denzel Washington in the Spike Lee cliche "He Got Game." The role was not a stretch. Allen played a basketball player.
Basketball remains a stretch for the home team, despite all the tinkering by Collins. The coach is trying to average a different starting lineup a game.
Charlie Butler, reputed to be a banger around the equipment, could earn a start in the frontcourt before panic joins the long faces.
Jason Caffey, one of Jordan's ex-teammates, might have been the smart one. He stayed behind in Milwaukee and called the lost income a bargain.
The Wizards expressed an interest in the game in the third quarter, about a quarter too late, unless you're keeping track of the moral victories. That only is for the hopeless, and Washington is not hopeless yet, not with Chicago and Memphis in the NBA.
The Wizards tied the game early in the fourth quarter, climbing all the way back into it after being down by as many as 21 points in the first half.
A jump shot by Popeye Jones tied the score, and then the game returned to its original form.
Perhaps the Wizards woke up and recognized the Bucks. The head game is as important as the game on the court. A team has to think it can win first.
The Wizards have Jordan, Richard Hamilton's jump shot and Christian Laettner every three or four games.
The Bucks have an assortment of weapons. Pick a name: Allen, Mason, Sam Cassell, Glenn Robinson and Tim Thomas.
The Bucks are so potent that Mason barely looks to shoot. He is a point forward with a tight end's body. It moves people out. It frees up his teammates.
"That Milwaukee team is terrific," Collins said. "They can come at you in so many ways. They hit 10 threes. We seem to bring out the best in 3-point shooters."
The Wizards seem to bring out the best in just about everyone.

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