WASHINGTON WIZARDS 26-25.What has changed: After starting 13-19 the Wizards didn't look like they were going to return to the postseason. Since then they've gone 13-6 to snatch the #7 spot in the East. Jamison and Arenas are tremendous players but is there enough on the roster to sustain their playoff spot?.Gilbert Arenas has become a superstar. At 28.
3 PPG Arenas would've been a massive omission to the All-Star Game had Jermaine O'Neal not gotten injured. Antawn Jamison has continued his solid year with 19.6 PPG and 9.8 RPG. With Jared Jeffries not performing Caron Butler stepped up and has made the most of his playing time, scoring 16.7 a game.
But that's where the "exceeding expectations" ends. Antonio Daniels was signed for the purpose of filling Larry Hughes's scoring and matching his League-best assist-to-turnover ratio that he had last year. But Daniels is down in scoring and assists and up in turnovers from last year; he's played himself out of the starting lineup.
Chucky Atkins was rebounding from his sluggish start to have a respectable season before he was waived. Jarvis Hayes was off to a good start but hasn't played in 2 months and has missed 31 games.Arenas has possession of the ball for most of the game. It's a good thing when the scoring comes, which is something that Gilbert is very good at. Nonetheless he would be better off playing SG, which is why Daniels's lack of production is key. The Wizards are 25th in Assists and there is normally very little ball movement.
The Wizards may not be as good as last year but are still very solid. Thanks to Arenas they are in the top 10 in both protecting and forcing turnovers. Regardless of how little boards come to Brendan Haywood Washington is 10th in rebounding. Really their only flaw is defense and lack of supporting cast.Washington scores 100.
1 PPG and will always score enough to win. When Hayes comes back they should be able to score a few more points. Both Michael Ruffin and Etan Thomas should get more playing time with their defensive presence.
Being a more polished team than Boston and Chicago they should make the playoffs baring a meltdown or injuries. They go as far as Arenas and Jamison do. As long as both continue to produce they should be playing in June.
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