Oy, again with the Wizards…These sorcerers from the magical land of Washington come back more times than Gandalf the Grey. At least they were in their regular uniforms this time (I’m sorry, but those gold-and-black monstrosities are All Time-level ugly; they would have made crowds squirm in 1975). Commentator/Reverend Henry Williams was also back to rock the microphone after what I assume were some faith-based absences. Meanwhile, Matt Devlin has armed himself with some Spanish-related humor (you can never go wrong there), busting out with “La Garra!” (“the claw”), his new nickname for Walter Herrmann.
News14 didn’t have graphics available for the first several minutes, although we thank them for helpfully displaying the temperature (a surprisingly high 79˚–huh!). Maybe the broadcast unit has already clinched a playoff spot and they’re resting the starters. Speaking of which, Gilbert Arenas didn’t start—apparently as a punishment for arriving late to practice—although he ended up making his first appearance roughly the same time as the graphics. Unfortunately, he didn’t last long after spraining his knee on a Gerald Wallace drive to the hoop. The contact served as a harbinger, as there were a lot of bodies flying around all night. In fact, the entire game ended up being one big collision course…with destiny, that is. Read on!
In the second quarter, tragedy struck. More specifically, Etan Thomas struck, flagrantly fouling Wallace with an elbow. Then the wooden floor flagrantly fouled G-Dub’s head when he landed on it. It was a vicious shot, reminiscent of the “bad” hockey player’s move on Patrick Swyaze in Youngblood, but fortunately Wallace returned. In fact, falling flat on his back from 10 feet in the air only seemed to focus him, as he finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals. Wallace is simply amazing. He’s like a Replicant from Blade Runner; he’s more human than human. Incidentally, Wallace’s face wasn’t the only thing Thomas impacted, as the man who looks like Lisa Bonet on steroids put up 19 points, 10 boards, and 4 blocks, and he had his way down low so easily I began to think Emeka Okafor might have gotten poked in the eye with a dreadlock or something.
This one was tight throughout. No Butler and no Agent, who didn’t return from the knee injury, by the way. How bad is this injury? What if he has to give up basketball and ends up becoming “Real Estate Agent 0,” or maybe “Travel Agent 0”? Anyway, it was up to Antonio Daniels, who had 18 points and made more passes (17 assists!) than a drunken sailor in a singles bar to keep it close. AD was also helped out by the 'awns, Ant and DeSh, as Antawn Jamison had 25 points and 11 boards, while DeShawn Stevenson had 14 points. Unfortunately, Mr. “I Can’t Feel My Face” apparently Can’t See Open Teammates either, as he shot just 4/12 and made some costly turnovers at the end, one of which went to Herrmann to ice it.
And how about Herrmann? He finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds, calmly sank four consecutive free throws in the final seconds, and basically energized everyone with his intensity. He reminds me of the little guy in "Metroid" (who ended up being a girl, or was it simply a guy with long hair—long, flowing, blond, Fabio-like hair? Hmmm…) the way he runs frantically all over the court. Henry was impressed with Herrmann as well. “They’ll lure you to sleep, those Europeans will,” he gushed after one of Walter’s numerous backdoor cuts, presumably before Matt leaned over and gently reminded him that Argentina’s in South America. Okafor turned in his standard A+ performance as well, grabbing 10 rebounds to go with 17 points.
Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just cracked the 30-win barrier…