By Craig Kwasniewski
Got the hookup again from Brett and sat courtside for the Clippers-Wiz game on Saturday night. Here's a few very brief notes from the game (brief as in several libations were consumed and I'm a little groggy):
Where was Cassell? - Sam Cassell was bouncing all over the floor during the pre-game. We were hoping for an active Cassell yapping away with Agent Zero all night, but he never made it off the bench. Coach Dunleavy said it was a game-time decision, but if you ask us, he was very spry right up to the national anthem. Maybe his back tightened up, who knows?
Tunnel Vision - Knowing that the bathroom is right next to the entrance hallway for the opposing team, we timed our "break" to get some footage of the Wizards' pre-game huddle. (Follow the Wizards into Staples Center) I was able to trail them into Staples, going for one of those NBA Videos-type of shots. Instead, the quality is very Zapruder Film/Blair Witch-like with all the shaking.
Slow start for Arenas - Agent Zero opened the first half with a very quiet 9 points. Antawn Jamison was on fire with 17 and Gilbert spent much of the half as a distributor.
Correct postage for Tim Thomas? - Thomas continues to mail it in. He may have finished with an acceptable 13 points last night, but you really have to see him in person to see how much he coasts through games. As soon as he subbed in, the Wiz started dominating the offensive glass. Timmy just sat on the perimeter matching up with the nearest guard as the Wizard bigs kept crashing the boards. On offense, he just hung around the three point line looking to jack up a shot.
More minutes for Songaila - Darius Songaila was very impressive tonight. I've always liked Songaila's game. He plays hard on both ends of the floor and has a decent touch for a big. Three teams in three seasons is usually a red flag, but I haven't really heard anything bad about the guy. Tonight, he ran the pick and roll with Arenas to perfection, especially in the second half. The Wizards should be playing him more minutes.
Lounging at the Half - Grabbed a few drinks in the lounge in the tunnel. This is the place where the celebs attending Lakers games go to (cough-cough) relax. But since this is the Clippers, the only celebs there were the owner, Donald T. Sterling and Penny Marshall. For those of you under 35, she was Laverne the slutty chick from Laverne and Shirley. Obviously this was a very loooong time ago (pre-op). Somewhere Cindy Williams is smiling.
Agent Zero Awakens in the 2nd Half - Arenas took it to the hole almost every time he had the ball in the third quarter. Jason Hart (who the Clippers picked up off the waiver wire a few weeks ago) just couldn't hang with Zero on the defensive end. If (and that's a big if) the Clipper bigs rotated over to cut off the lane, Gilbert simply dished off for open shots. But mostly he got to the rack, keeping the Wizards in the game as Jamison got cold.
Gil Zero Closer? - It appears as though Arenas has a closer for his shoes. For the first three quarters, he was rocking the multi-colored Gil Zeros that he wore against Seattle. But in the fourth quarter he put on a pair of the light grey Gil Zeros to close out the game. Do they play "Enter Sandman" at Wizard home games when the light grey Gil Zeros come on?
No Buzzer Beaters Tonight - We were all pulling for Gilbert to keep the game close just to get a chance for last second heroics. Sadly, it was not to be as Chris Kaman was a difference maker, dropping all of his 17 points in the second half. Corey Magette sealed the game from the freethrow line as the Wizards lost 111-105. My only consolation was a low five from Agent Zero as he left the court, which was very cool.