In an afternoon matinee it looked as if the Dallas Mavericks had overslept as they just seemed to let the Wizards run circles around them both offensively and defensively. They also let the Wizards do something they have not done in 10 years, sweep the season series from them. A sign the Wizards are turning this season around without Gilbert Arenas.
So how are the Wizards defeating teams like Boston(twice) and now the Mavericks twice…. great defense… Everyone on the team knows the meaning of great defense and it shows.
“We’re being nastier and grittier defensively and our concentration level is up defensively,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “The theme tonight was, ‘Each possession get better’: The next possession on defense, get better. The next possession on defense, get tougher. The next possession, get into them tighter.”
Caron Butler continues to lead the way for the Wizards and today he had 25 points and nine rebounds, Antawn Jamison added 23 points and eight rebounds, and Washington forced 16 turnovers and held Dallas to 41.3 percent shooting, something that very few teams have been able to do against Dallas.
“They are getting after it pretty good right now,” Dallas Coach Avery Johnson said. “They are playing good basketball. We had them deep in the shot clock and Stevenson launches two three-pointers on us. They are getting loose balls and making forced shots. Even when our defense was good, they made us pay.”
“Our big thing is defense right now,” Butler said. “We are playing at a very high level defensively. When our offense isn’t going, we don’t let that dictate the outcome of the game. We are letting our defense dictate our offense.”
Wizards center Etan Thomas walked out to the Wizards bench early in the third quarter in a three-piece. Thomas spoke before the game about his return from open heart surgery. He’s waiting for team doctors to clear him to begin practicing. … ” I have to think about Etan right now, not basketball, when I am ready then I will think about basketball, right now I am thinking about how important it is for me to get well,” said Thomas.